new music: check out the ‘unravel’ ep from afropop septet the seshen #soundcheck

October 8, 2014

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know why you should be excited about new music from The Seshen. The Oakland based septet produces a breed of omni-genre hyper dense music that proudly defies classification or categorization. They’ve been teasing out tracks from their latest EP, but it’s finally here. So clear some space on your floor to dance, get your headphones on, and get lost in The Seshen’s Unravel EP.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

From the title track, the band’s lush mix of live and electronic elements is dizzying. The off beat snaps are buried under a massive beat courtesy of drummer Chris Thalmann. Synths burble up and crash like waves, and floating atop the whole thing is singer Lalin St. Juste, whose dueling vocals with Akasha Orr give Aki Ehara’s meticulously produced mess an undeniable emotional anchor. “Oblivion,” on loan from their debut full length, features the EP’s strongest melody, rising above the digital effects and flourishes that threaten to overwhelm the vocals at all times. The obsessive detail and polyrhythmic layering are bursting at the seams and nearly collapse under the weight of their own ambition half the time, but The Seshen’s greatest skill has always been their ability find the line between disorienting and exhilarating.

“Turn” features the most human elements. Thalmann’s virtuosic drumming steals the focus from the programmed beats that dominate much of the rest of the record. It’s impossible not to move listening to this. The 6 song set closes with “2000 Seasons” in which Aki Ehara makes his synth productions sound damn near symphonic. Lalin St. Juste’s effortlessly soulful vocals float over the whole thing. “Is this what you want? / the tick tock of the clock goes on…” Before it all comes crashing down under percussion and synth jamming and a tidal wave of noise.

The whole EP is available here and here now. If you care at all about your ears, you’ll pick this up for them. They deserve it.