Tag Archive: “Sinkane”

It’s another Friday and here we are again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I keep listening to the constant complaint of those who want something better but you know what? You actually have to get up off your ass and work for it! No one’s going to hand you anything. Every week I receive a slew of releases and I’ll randomly grab a handful to listen to. Yeah, sometimes people just do that, and what I find on occasion are those that don’t expect anything to be handed to them, deciding to put together a collection of songs they felt strongly compelled to create. You see that? They’re creating their own opportunities and for better or worse, they’ve landed at my feet here. What do we have here?

POW! - Crack An Egg
POW! – Crack An Egg

I didn’t know what to make of band, the duo who simply goes by the name POW! at first glance. I imagined their  album Crack An Egg (Castle Face Records) would be a gloomy pastiche of work that would probably keep me in a depression for a few years. Luckily that’s not the case. While the duo may play a familiar synth-rock style, they’re here to make you feel their songs deep in your soulless body. The party really starts for me with “Back On The Grid” where they stop and start to a mechanized beat surrounded by synthesizers, noisy powered amps and staccato vocals at points. Did I hear this song right? Yep, just played it again and you can find my ass shaking to it with the utmost abandon. They’ll get downright spooky on the eerie “Castle Of Faith” which is both haunting and robotic with Byron Blum’s vocals sometimes taking a backseat to his musical interplay with cohort Melissa Blue.

But it’s on “Necessary Call” where they let their punk roots show through their highlights, driving it with a 4-chord distorted guitar joint just swallowing everything up in its path. The great thing about POW! is the grittiness in its simplicity. The band doesn’t try to beat you over the head with its musical prowess, instead opting to capture your attention with great songs like “Energy In Motion.” Look for the band to continue fucking up your day in the best of ways when things aren’t going your way.

That leads me to Quelle Chris. People are quick to toss comparisons around to another production genius or utilize easy words like “quirky,” but his brand of Hip Hop is somewhat different. Now while they may be slightly angled towards that direction in a sense, Quelle Chris’ music far surpasses them. Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often (Mello Music Group) is a strange ride, Chris’ music production and vocal delivery sometimes don’t sound like they go together, juxtaposed against one another but seamlessly meld well together. Makes sense? Listen to “Buddies,” where the musical pastiche is layered with his vocals that hops along eventually hitting the beat on point. When the self-absorbed character reference he has on lyrics “I fucks with myself” doubled over but not landing exactly together, it’s clear his attempt to do something different works perfectly. As odd as the song is, it’s perfect. Quelle Chris says everything people want to say with clear braggadocio.  Being You… is rife with guest appearances as well, some well known (Roc Marciano, Jean Grae) to his homies (Big Tone, Cavalier, House Shoes) who all add vocal texture to his tracks. “Fascinating Grass (feat Big Tone, Roc Marciano, 87) moves at a mid-tempo’d pace with Marciano’s low register fitting well against Tone’s quicker rhymes. But on “BS Vibes (feat. House Shoes),” where he and Shoes trade quips is almost hypnotic. The piano line here grabs hold on this one. And this is where things get strange.

Quelle Chris - Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often
Quelle Chris – Being You Is Great,
I Wish I Could Be You More Often

The beat on “Dumb For Brains (feat. Cavalier)” sounds off key at points but both emcees make it work, just like on the rest of the tracks here. Quelle Chris will get a little wicked on the beat though because “The Prestige (feat. Jean Grae)” takes no prisoners. He and Grae, bring that cutthroat heat with vocal deliveries as well, then again Jean Grae could always hold her own against any man, woman, or alien rappers. She’s still that scary good. But with Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often I can fucks with it. It’s a strange ride that you may want to get on.

What we have left is Sinkane. Well the moniker is used by one Ahmed Gallab, a Sudanese singer/songwriter born in London to college professors who moved to the U.S. when he was 5. Life & Livin’ It (City Slang) is his 6th album. I’m not sure if I had some preconceived notions about the album, thinking it was going to be different than his last, which it is. With every album he puts together, Sinkane gets better and better with his song structures, his vocal delivery, the arrangements, etc. Sinkane is more than just a singer/songwriter though, he’s a pop artist that doesn’t receive the accolades and love he deserves. The music he creates differs whereby adding African rhythms throughout a number of tracks. On  “U’Huh” (watch below) you can easily catch it within the song, but it doesn’t pigeonhole Sinkane into a limiting world music genre, instead it gives it more flavor than the average pop song. The same can be said for “Deadweight,” which has a modern R&B appeal to it but remains rooted in having that inclusive international vibe.

Sinkane - Life & Livin' It
Sinkane – Life & Livin’ It

He rarely strays away from what he’s stylistically created. “Passenger,” both lyrically and musically traverses through multi-cultures and sounds. The title track itself here points to what this album could be though; the soundtrack for any road wearied traveler. Listens need to give Life & Livin’ It more attention because it opens the world to a whole new generation of musical journeymen. It’s just a beautiful album plain and simple.

Quelle ChrisFacebook/Twitter/Instagram



The One That Opens With a Bang

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne will be bringing you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.  Thanks for checking this out, we hope you enjoy the show!


Songs Played on The One That Opens With a Bang

Cool Kids – “Connect Four” from Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe LP out soon on CAKE, LLC

Sinkane – “U’Huh” from Life & Livin’ It out February 10, 2017 on City Slang

Camp Cope – “Keep Growing” out now on Poison City Records

Joan of Arc – “This Must Be the Placenta” from He’s Got the Whole This Land is Your Land In His Hands out January 20, 2017 on Joyful Noise Recordings

Jay Daniel – “Paradise Valley” from Broken Nose out now on Technicolour

The Molochs – “You and Me” from America’s Velvet Glory out January 13, 2017 on Innovative Leisure

Grandaddy – “Way We Won’t” from Last Place out March 3, 2017 on 30th Century Records

Lite – “D” from Cubit out now on Topshelf Records


Music Videos Featured in Episode




Steven A. Clark is currently on the road with Sinkane in support of his Secretly Canadian debut, The Lonely Roller. The tour kicked off over a month ago at CMJ in New York City where Clark performed live on WNYC Soundcheck and WFUV. From the WFUV session came a stellar live version of the album’s title track, “Lonely Roller.”

Tue. Nov. 24 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s *

Wed. Nov. 25 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *   * w/ Sinkane

Sinkane, aka Ahmed Gallab, was a busy man this year. He released his fifth album, Mean Love, and kept an active solo touring schedule. He’s not slowing down either. Sinkane has a late winter tour planned.

Check out the dates here:

Dec 31 – Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL *

Jan 9 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY #

Feb 12 – Creative Alliance – Baltimore, MD

Feb 13 – Gild Hall – Arden, DE

Feb 14 – Iron Horse – Northampton, MA @

Feb 15 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY

Feb 17 – Cafe 939 – Boston, MA

Feb 18 – Il Motore – Montreal, QC

Feb 19 – Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT

Feb 20 – SPACE Gallery – Portland, ME

Feb 21 – The Music Hall Loft – Portsmouth, NH

Mar 12 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA ^

Mar 13 – Tropicalia – Washington, D.C. ^

Mar 14 – Bardot Miami – Miami, FL ^

Mar 20 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ^

* with The Numero Group # with Neneh Cherry, Kaki King @ with Mal Devisa ^ with Quantic