Spike your egg nog with a dose of this and submerge. Nestled at the end of a compilation of bombastic and grand dance-floor boogies from the Ivory Coast, Jacques Loubelo’s “Ngando” closes out Nouvelle Ambiance !!! with a downtempo, analog-synth ballad that cloths its 80’s proto-electronic leanings with a nocturnal air of mysterious cool and subtle immediacy. Layered in an analog soul echo that feels lost and somewhere out of reach, the lean gothic production and vocal distortions enrich the song with a distant otherness – a warm, melancholy strangeness that feels apart from any provenance in its expression.
Post Script: “Ngando” originally comes from Loubelo’s sole, self-titled, long player, released in 1984 via Congolese label Industrie Africaine Du Disque. Hearing the album reveals a gentle and largely folk-imbued spirit that is equally powerful and worth hearing. words / c depasquale