Half-Mauritian singer and percussionist Mo Kolours will unleash his debut album, EP1: Drum Talking, May 16 on One-Handed. The album, the first of a trilogy of EPs, embodies the clash of Mo Kolours’ hip-hop and dub influences with the Sega music style in his blood, resulting in a unique sound with a raw but powerful feel. Emptiness lingers throughout the EP, drawing the listener’s attention toward the simplistic building blocks of each beat. A combination of lo-fi samples with crisp recordings gives life to undemanding musical forms and highlights nuances of the human voice.
One of the highlights of the eight-track EP is a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” titled “Dead Of Night,” available above as a download and stream. Extending Mo Kolours’ range of influences, he tells us “it was a Bobby McFerrin cover of Blackbird that really inspired [him] for ‘Dead Of Night.’” And with the unbelievable vocal techniques used in the track, it should come as no surprise that the piece reflects McFerrin’s technical vocal genius. Simple Sega-style drum samples carry Mo Kolours’ sugary melody as the bouncing bassline gets your body moving. Perhaps as a reflection of Mo Kolours’ self-taught approach to music, “Dead Of Night” is one of many tracks on the album in which the roles of instruments are almost reversed. Looped vocal lines frequently fill a rhythmic presence throughout the album as drums and sound effects provide an added depth.
On the cultural influence present throughout the album, Mo Kolours states “African music is the essence of all music for me. I try to collect as much as possible. The raw feeling and true emotion evoked in African recording of old and new are a constant inspiration for me.” As this trilogy continues to unfold, Mo Kolours hopes “the next two EPs will show more sides of [his] musical tastes.” And if they demonstrate anywhere near as much passion for merging styles and commitment to his own artistic goals as EP1: Drum Talking, it will certainly be a great collection of music.
Tracklist For EP1: Drum Talking:
03. Drum Talking
05. Dead Of Night
06. 8 Hours
07. Outro: I’m The Drum
08. Biddies (Truth Is Light Edit)