Look Out for Sudan Archives
One of the most exciting aspects of the music landscape in 2017 is the feeling that creatively, pretty much anything is possible. That sentiment allowed Sudan Archives, a young self-taught violinist, to create one of the most memorable covers of Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” and then within a year get signed to Stones Throw records and release a self-titled debut EP. The Cincinnati, Ohio native blends her vocals with Sudanese and West-African violin techniques and electronic elements to form a wholly unique sound that has afforded her some significant recognition at a young age.
Over the course of the six tracks on Sudan Archives, we get a definite sense of Sudan’s unique musical voice as well as the influence of African music on her compositional style. She synthesizes all of the elements at play in a way that avoids novelty and instead reflects deep originality.
The first track “Paid” gives an apt introduction into Sudan Archives’ sonic universe. In it she uses electronic elements for the basis of the beat and then adds some warm, layered vocals over the top. She really hits her stride on “Come Meh Way,” with the introduction of her violin as a primary sound source. The track is already engaging with the violin, her voice, and the various percussion instruments, and then she brings in the electronic bass sound, which takes things to another level.
The remainder of Sudan Archives continues in the same trajectory as the first two songs, offering a beautifully alluring batch of songs that make the listener crave more. Sudan Archives proves to have a mature sound despite her age and it appears that her musical abilities have only begun to be explored. She is forging her own path forward into the future, and it is one that will surely bear watching.