Dance music with a much-needed injection of soul, spirit and happiness.
The Busy Twist are a globetrotting musical duo that travel across continents in search of the tropical flavours that soundtrack carnivals all across the world. Regularly making the trip to South America and West Africa they are keen purveyors of club music that just makes you want to dance, but not only that, dance with a fat grin on your face.
Their latest offering, the “Sunny Side” EP is emblematic of this; four tracks crafted with genuine soul, equally at home in a sweaty club or a nice cosy bedroom. Released through the duo’s own label “Busy Life” and recorded primarily during their first trip to Ghana the record sees them work extensively with vocalist Zongo Abongo.
It’s a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. An absolute pleasure. One of the greatest pleasures my ears have been in contact with for quite some time. Genuinely. Musically it’s incredible – there is no denying that. But “Sunny Side” gets so much more special because of the feeling you are left with after listening. It’s so incredibly uplifting, catching that immutable African spirit with complete authenticity.
Indeed this is a record borne out of Ghana more than the UK. Apart from the slight nod to British clubbing culture there is little else to suggest that the duo behind the music are in fact native Londoners. It’s music that truly transcends borders – an Afro-Anglo dance hybrid that can be hard to find in today’s musical climate.
The EP starts off at a relaxed pace with the title track “Sunny Side”, a beautifully composed song shining the spotlight on Zongo Abongo’s incredible vocal prowess. If ever there was a song made for a summer’s afternoon it would be this one. Guitar lines interlace perfectly over the driving rhythm, giving a platform for the vocals – some singing some rapping – to sit on top perfectly. No wonder it’s called “Sunny Side”, it could be raining outside but one listen and you’ll certainly have a sunny mind.
The next track, “Traveller”, is definitely my favourite. Slightly more upbeat than the opening, its rhythm is infectious and instantly danceable… a right old knee lubricant. But there’s more to “Traveller”. Together with the intricate guitar work, Zongo Abongo and Kyekyeku’s vocals instil a real sense of emotion. At once happy and strangely melancholic, it gives the song a genuine soul and sense of place. Not to mention the immaculate production – everything sounds perfectly organic; no easy feat when you’re working with a computer based DAW as well as real live instrumentation.
“Yiriba” slows things down but definitely does not compensate on the energy. Slightly reminiscent of the “Zouk Bass” genre Branko and co. have been pushing on the Enchufada label, it strays further towards Dancehall than the more UK Funky orientated sonics of the rest of the EP – in rhythm at least. The final cut is “Train Soukous”, a track straight for the dance-floor. You can definitely hear the influence of soukous music, both in its overall vibe and instrumentation. I challenge you to listen to this and not dance manically with a fat grin on your face. Not possible.
Much like the rest of this EP and indeed anything The Busy Twist produce. It’s just good fun. Dance music with real soul.