Maribou State Kingdoms in Colour Counter Records
Maribou State have grown beyond the pressures that come with immediate hype, something that’s led many a ‘next big thing’ to where-are-they-now pub chats a few years later. On Kingdoms in Colour they diverge from the ‘bass music’ tag that umbrella-termed UK club music at the turn of 2010 and instead cherry pick the global influences they’ve discovered since their 2015 debut LP Portraits.
Maribou State’s eye for collaborative talent shines through. London singer Holly Walker, featuring on Nervous Tics, effortlessly channels golden-era R&B, and Feel Good, a collaboration with Houston trio Khruangbin, broods with Middle Eastern guitar riffs and pitched soulful vocal samples; Erkin Koray meets Diana Ross.
While Kingdoms in Colour holds the ability to be huge, the album never quite realises its potential, often trembling under the weight of its own ambition. The folk sentimentalities of Kingdoms… resonate at hollow frequencies, even if it will fill festival stages for the next few summers, the album’s bowing out struggles to be the anthemic curtain closer it hopes to be. Praise is due, however, to Maribou State for trying out new ideas and maturing their sound.