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Welcome back to Selections, a series of artist-curated playlists from those in the know.

There’s an inherent cinematic quality and narrative vision at the core of Aho Ssan’s electronic experimentations. Which makes sense given that the Paris-based artist studied graphic design and cinema before delving into composition and starting to create his own digital instruments.

In 2020, Aho Ssan – the creative alias of Niamké Désiré – released his debut album Simulacrum. Inspired in part by Jean Baudrillard’s text Simulacres et Simulation, the record saw the French artist create his own simulation of jazz musicians, called The Mensah Imaginary Band, with Max/MSP software. It also explored pretences of inclusivity and equality through the lens of Aho Ssan’s own experiences of growing up as a Black person in France.

Part of the 2022/2023 SHAPE+ cohort, Aho Ssan’s forthcoming new release Rhizomes follows on from last year’s collaborative album with KMRU, Limen, and once again draws on philosophical foundations to explore his own heritage – the album’s name taking inspiration from the works of French writer Édouard Glissant. A record and a book, Rhizomes features collaborations with the likes of Moor Mother, clipping., Angel Bat Dawid, Blackhaine and Valentina Magaletti. Additionally, Ssan’s work still very much encompasses the world of cinema, having won the Foundation France television prize for his 2015 soundtrack for D’Ingha Mago and continuing to work on other film collaborations.

Later this month, Aho Ssan heads to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia for a performance at WOS Festival. Ahead of the festival, he curates our latest Selections playlist – offering an ephemeral refuge of sonic respite. “Paris had a prolonged period of greyness in summer,” he explains, “and these songs provided a delightful escape.” Get lost in the music below.

Aho Ssan plays WOS Festival, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, from 14-17 September.