It’s ironic that on his official Facebook page, Ahmed Gallab (AKA Sinkane) pegs his unique amalgamation of sounds as “fake jazz”.
‘Fake’ definitely doesn’t describe the soul-infused scope of this London-born, Brooklyn-based musician, nor his sixth album Life & Livin’ It.
With a distinctive funk undertone that runs through its nine tracks, this album boasts the hallmarks of psychedelic rock with soulful touches, all the while twinkling with a vague nod to jazz, reggae and Gallab’s African roots.
But the positivity that exudes from the lyrics and their delivery is the real draw of this release, also showing exactly where the pop sensibilities come into play. The upbeat, repetitive hook in ‘Favorite Song’ is the most blatant candidate for a radio hit, but still provides an incredibly enjoyable five minutes. ‘Telephone’ is another standout, bearing a jittery synth-lined intro that plays out into a funky bassline. Likewise, ‘Won’t Follow’ showcases a more reggae-influenced side to Sinkane with a simpering vocal part placed atop an easygoing beat, before horn flourishes in the chorus.
Sinkane has created a worldly album that boasts a host of personal and musical influences. As with most of his work, the overwhelming realness of this record is what gives it strength.