Take Me Away #32

Another year is about to be laid to rest, pallbearers stand hovering over the year, the casket is lowered. The chain and crank that lowers the pine box is grinding, it’s badly in need of oil, and those gathered at the gravesite are all covering their ears. With the lowering of the casket the crowd throws their fears and disappointments into the grave with the past year. People throw political apathy into the grave, others throw away their memories of violence, others throw away addictions, vices, others throw away their time, some wish to jump into the casket themselves.

Non-sensical violence has marked the year, political rifts deepened, drones ushered in a new wave of technological advancement promising faster deliveries and more civilian casualties. Police departments across the country acted out with impunity, exercising their militarized strength. Crowds of people protested for democracy in communist and “democratic” country’s alike. A never-ending dream for freedom and liberation, personally and politically is still being sought worldwide. In pursuit of this dream, there has been nightmares, and reactions, and each of these has produced more awakening, visceral art that promise our spirits that there is something beautiful underneath the terrifying surface.

One specific artist that still instills hope is Ibeyi. Ibeyi is comprised of two sisters; Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz. The Afro-Cuban sisters that are also French are of famed lineage. They are daughters of Anga Diaz who was a member of Buena Vista Social Club. Their music is poignant, beautiful, striking and mind-altering. Their music falls somewhere in between experimental electronica, soul, hip-hop, and spirituals. They insert beautiful Yoruba prayers and folk songs into their music. Ibeyi is on XL Recordings among other famous artists such as; Adele, Atoms For Peace and Sigur Ros. You may not have heard of them yet but be sure to take notice of them now as they stake their claim in the music industry.


A track that deserves a great deal of attention is titled “River” which is dedicated to the Goddess Oshun. The video is minimalistic yet creative and the vocals are just as hypnotic as the music.

Ibeyi’s cover of “Better In Tune With The Infinite” by Jay Electronica, is something of an anomaly when it comes to covers. Normally I wouldn’t share a cover but this is almost haunting while simultaneously angelic. The percussion and piano is done with a flair that is more rhythmic and spiritual than the original.

The track titled “Oya” and its video are something reminiscent of the artistic creativity of late 90’s or early 2000’s Bjork. The vocal range is awe inspiring, and the video helps to create this ethereal effect that shuttles the viewer somewhere else, someplace holy.

Ibeyi’s music is relevant and beautiful, its spiritual depth inspires a meditative state.  They cross genres with ease and are a multiculturally influenced duo. They offer up the idea that transcending barriers can be not only harmonic but artistic. They encourage listeners to take a minute and to appreciate art and its origins, they even inspire people to realize that with a passing year filled with so much hate there is still love and a life worth fighting for. Ibeyi takes the spiritual aspects of life and places them in easily digested aural art, with music that calms the soul and reminds us why we are still here. We haven’t lost our humanity yet if music this wonderful is still being made.

Article by: Gabriel Barrio

Join Gabriel on his personal Blog.

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