Artist: Nomo

Date Released: 2004

Label: Ypsilanti

Produced By: Warn Defever


  1. Discontinued
  2. Better Than That
  3. Not Wisely...
  4. Moving in Circles
  5. ...Too Well
  6. Busy
  7. Unititled
  8. Hourglass
  9. The Seams
  10. La La La La


Tackling a genre created and popularized by a single man is not easy. In Nomo's case, it is even more dangerous, just ask Antibalas (who were accused of being a cover band before finding their own sound). Recreating Fela Kuti's afro-beat is a difficult task in itself, but playing a distinguishable style of the music that is more than just an homage to Kuti is undaunting if not impossible. Never in a thousand years would I ever have suspected that Eliot Bergman, the main brain behind retro-popsters Saturday Looks Good to Me, would be the man to overcome such obstacles. Nomo, a collective of like-minded musicians behind the compositional leadership of Bergman, is an incredible seventeen member mini-orchestra made up of, but not limited to, four drummers, wah-wah guitars, fender Rhodes, multiple organs and a six-piece horn section. The most prevalent and obvious influence is Kuti and the many incarnations of his own afro-beat orchestra, but on Nomo, Bergman takes bits and pieces from jazz, soul, blues, reggae, dub and undeniable funk. The resulting sound is an amazing hybrid of styles that produces one of the most exciting albums in the last 20 years, catching the spirits of the ground-breaking musicians before their careers diminished and bland, mainstream music took hold of the populous. Over the course of this mind-blowing 45 minute album, you are able not only to hear the essence of Kuti, but also Coltrane (John and Alice), Miles Davis, Sun Ra, James Brown, King Tubby, The Talking Heads… and on and on and on. Nomo easily establishes Bergman as one of the most ingenious composers of the current music scene; hopefully people will take notice while he is still in his prime. Mpardaiolo

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