Emeka Ogboh Beyond The Yellow Haze A-TON
Emeka Ogboh is a Nigerian sound and installation artist who works within diverse mediums including, intriguingly, scent and food. But he’s perhaps best known for building soundscapes that evoke a specific environment. Beyond the Yellow Haze, Ogboh’s debut album released via A-TON, is an exceptional example: an audio portrait of a city.
The album explores, and builds upon, the soundscape of Lagos, with Ogboh drawing from field recordings, an eclectic palette of percussive arrangements and ambient electronics. On Lekki Aiah Freeway, daunting bongs and subtle echoes are layered onto the sound of car horns and motor noise, giving rise to a meditative state that steadily builds as the contours of the track unfurl. This skilful merging of musical elements and field recordings is equally effective on Danfo Mellow, a stand-out track in the album; a piece of music that incorporates the chatter of passengers as they ride the danfo.
While Beyond the Yellow Haze transports listeners to the bustling streets of a city, there are moments when the record is almost unexpectedly comforting. Palm Groove, punctuated by the sound of rain showers, is a sombre ambient piece while Outro pairs delicate bell chimes with calming hubbub – the reassuring sound of a world going on outside your window. It’s a lush end to a richly sensory work that urges you to lose yourself in another place entirely.