Columbus ex-pat imbues his music with his own varied journey
It's always nice to see a local boy make good, even if Ahmed Gallab's roots are in the Sudan via London, and he skipped town for Brooklyn years ago.
All of this globetrotting is evidenced in his band, Sinkane. Gallab has taken Sinkane from the realm of pleasant, atmospheric indie-pop of the sort that gets you gigs with Caribou and Of Montreal, and moved into cobbling together influences seemingly from every locale in which he and his family ever received mail. Post-punk guitar rock mingles with meaty Southern soul and the ghosts of Motown, as well as the nigh-tragic, celebratory pop his folks likely had on cassette to remind them of better days for a country that tore itself in two.
Life and Livin' It takes on greater significance given Gallab's Sudanese heritage. A culture creates music of the intensity and passion for life exhibited in African pop only if it needs to as a means of survival. No one celebrates being alive like those who aren't expecting life to go on, and amid the continually war-torn miasma and grinding poverty that casts its shadow over much of Africa, simple pop sounds take on an emotional and rhythmic complexity that put its Western cousin to shame. Gallab is able to tap into this, bringing together a combination of sound and feeling an artist of not only less talent, but less history couldn't possibly hope to make. (Don't miss it)