Space Afrika ~ Honest Labour [Grey Black Smash Vinyl]
Release date: 27th August 2021
Catalogue Number: DAIS181LPC3
Barcode: LPC3: 0011586671911
Format Details: LPC3 – Grey Black Smash Vinyl
Manchester UK’s Space Afrika make music of what they term “overlapping moments” – oblique mosaics of dialogue, rhythm, texture, and shadow, half-heard through a bus window on a rainy night. Honest Labour, the group's first full-length since 2020's landmark hybtwibt? (have you been through what i’ve been through?) mixtape, expands the project's palette with classical strings, shimmering guitar, and visionary vocal cameos, leaning further into their enigmatic fusion of ambient unrest and cosmic downtempo. It's a sound both fogged and fragmented, at the axis of song craft and sound design, born from and for the yearning solitudes of life under lockdown.
The album title is tiered, alluding to a legendary patriarch from co-founder Joshua Inyang's Nigerian family tree (who was lovingly called “Honest Labour” for his loyalty and resilience) as well as the nature of self-designated work, such as Space Afrika's music – a “labor of love” in its truest sense. With fellow co-founder Joshua Reid recently relocated to Berlin, the pair began sharing files last fall, piecing together poetic vignettes of looping haze and found sound, inspired by the notion of “records that leave an impression, and help the listener deal with their life.” As the isolation of Covid compounded with the worsening winter, the songs skewed increasingly introspective and emotive, reflecting a mood of dissipating futures and the infinite nocturnal unknown.
The artists cite two core motivations for Honest Labour: to transcend the sum of their influences, and “to show what we're capable of.” Both ambitions are entirely realized. The collection's 19 tracks flow with a synergy and sophistication as rare as they are radical, untethered to the dusty dub-techno templates of Space Afrika's early years. These are interstitial anthems, expressionistic and open-ended, delirious but deliberate, attuned to the drift and dreamstate of the present moment: “Ultimately this is an homage to U.K. energy, and an album about love and loss.”
● Follows the duo’s acclaimed releases “Above the Concrete/Below the Concrete” (Where to Now?, 2014), “Somewhere Decent to Live” (Sferic, 2018), along with the impactful 2020 mixtape “hybtwibt?”, named best ambient release of 2020 by Pitchfork and Bandcamp.
● Scored the soundtrack for Tibyan Sanoh’s “Untitled (To Describe You)” short film which debuted at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and screened at Rewire Festival.
● Well received featured mix (772) on Resident Advisor
● Massive following of listeners from years as NTS Radio hosts and DJs
● For fans of Andy Stott, Leila, Dean Blunt, Burial, Demdike Stare, Arca, Maurizio, Huerco S, Hiro Kone, FKA Twigs
LP SIDE A
A2 Indigo Grit ft. guest
A3 Lose You Beau
A6 Preparing the Perfect Response ~
A7 Ny Interlude
A8 Rings ft. guest
A9 Noise Sweet
A10 B£E ft. Blackhaine
LP SIDE B
B1 Like Orchids
B2 Meet Me At Sachas
B3 U ft. kinseyLloyd
B5 Girl Scout Cookies ft. bianca scout
B6 Ladybird Drone
B7 With Your Touch
B8 Strength ft. LA Timpa
B9 Honest Labour ft. HforSpirit