Bringing the sounds of his half-Mauritian descent and mixing the intrinsic with the contemporary, Mo Kolours, in his second EP, EP2: Banana Wine, is able to conjure up the imagery you might expect to see in a Pablo Amaringo painting but through sound. Which is to say, a colorful, alternate reality that brings the listener back to the basics of experience with each instrument standing out but at the same time coming together to form a transcendental experience.
The use of different drums is very prominent in Banana Wine, with each track featuring a different slow beat and speed while dub, hip-hop and soul inspire the mix. Kolours lends many of the songs his low-toned voice, which resembles spoken word. The opener “Ridda Mountain” features Kolours slowly singing about “climbing to the top of the mountain” to search for the “diamonds at the top of the mountain.” “Twelve” and “Keep It Up” provide another chance at hearing Kolours as he voices repeating lyrics and marries them to the sounds of whistling, sizzling and other bodily produced noises.
“Mini Culcha” offers something unexpected and organic, with the layered harmonies that include quick percussion, clapping, midi-piano, the sounds of talking and commotion in the background, and a female voice exclaiming “thank you” and “reincarnation” throughout. Kolours reels his music into the present digital age by including the Beautiful Swimmers remix to “Mini Culcha,” which adds more percussion, synth and twisting of the voice to generate a danceable disco track without disrupting the integrity that Kolours presents throughout the rest of the album. “Talking Move” also provides modernism with its jazz-inspired bass infused with synth, clapping, bells and a low-pitch drum.
The title track, “Banana Wine,” is another shout out from Mo Kolours to his African heritage as the drink referred to by the song is a traditional drink from East Africa, one that plays an important role in celebrations and rituals. And at the end that is exactly what Banana Wine is: a celebration of foreign sounds turned familiar.