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Live Review: Feel the passion that permeates in Ribongia's second EP, Escapisms

11 April 2016 | 8:00 pm | Hannah Galvin

SO delighted to have the second EP from the very talented RIbongia. Titled, Escapisms, it's available now through October Records.


Following his two-year old, It Began EP release and featured singles, Sydney-based producer, RIBONGIA, has shared with us his latest splay, Escapisms.

Six tracks in length, the EP is home to singles, 'Journeys', 'My Word' (featuring ESESE emcee, Hancoq) and his latest 'Downstreams', and is conceptually targeting the artist's emotional reaction to music, in that he passionately believes it offers him an escape; a delight that all should be free to experience through their headphones. Stoked to admit it enables just that, Ribongia's craftsmanship in Escapisms has been cleverly sewn together whilst being incredibly addictive on the ear.

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Paving way for transition with a fickle limbo intro, 'Journeys' traverses us into the tropics where the sky is always blue, the water crystal clear and the thickets beautifully lush; exhaling the song of native birds as they flutter and chatter beneath the canopies. Offering a strong building force to anticipate further enlightenment, the African inspired melody connects with us spiritually, as it steers the underlay of rich percussion, indecisive vocals, gentle beats and impulsive sampling. Considering the direction Ribongia aimed to take this EP, 'Journeys' is an incredibly strong opener to set the atmosphere of, Escapisms.

The origins of our new home have been established, so it's now time to venture inside this jungle with Ribongia's latest single, 'Downstream'. Rather charming in character, it initially feels as if we're only a banana leaf away from uncovering the unexpected; what with its serenity and tribal chanting potentially insinuating that a change is on the agenda. A guard we quickly learn to let down, it's eventually understood that we are to just simply be at peace with the present, for a colourful conglomerate is lovingly setting a humble, yet empowering soundscape.

The sweet hits of a penchant marimba regurgitate dense echoes of its woody interface, gleefully dancing alongside a feminine keyline and erratic chimes. Visiting the wet of an active stream, the elements will shed you of materialistic desire; engulfing you into this natural phenomenon. How teasing at just two and a half minutes in length!

Taking this quick breather, a change definitely did follow, with the extroverted, 'My Word', the rush that is, 'OYO', and the sultry quirk of, 'Holler'; a theme taking huge influence from the execution of guest vocalist, ELJZ.

To wrap up what has been a substantial adventure, we partly return back to the roots of this paradise with Ribongia's, 'Nomads Du Niger'. Reuniting with the linguistics of our Western African friends, Ribongia incorporates trap and footwork, blending tradition with our Westernised club scene. Heating things up with an army of prodding, metallic beats flying through sharp melodies and tweaked instrumentation - that once survived a lifestyle far less rushed earlier in the EP, Ribongia weens us out of this tropical haven to gently drop us back into reality.

A body of work that achieves everything it had set out to do, Ribongia's, Escapisms EP is well articulated and carefully sculpted for your listening pleasure. Give it a listen and grab it now through October Records.

Words by Hannah Galvin.