N’Dekho is the brand new collaborative project from Falle Nioke and Joe Goddard. Their first release Cousins is a glorious melding of Falle’s standout lyrical prowess with Joe’s timeless dance production.
Debut single “Exile” is the perfect introduction to N’Dekho’s unique blend of West African folk music and London electronics. It begins with an African-inspired rhythm, Falle delivering a poetry-inflected spoken word prologue before Joe unleashes an infectious 4/4 groove and Falle breaks into heartfelt, raw & soulful vocals. Underpinning it all are a set of super-sized classic synth chords, which descend more than once into a chugging breakdown, complete with its unapologetic synth solo.
Lyrically, “Exile” deals with immense sadness, as Falle recollects: ”I am singing to my brothers. It is about the sadness I feel leaving my home country because of a lack of opportunity there and being unable to return home for a long time.” He sings, “Exile is not easy, Miles away from my family, Brothers and sisters.”
Falle Nioke is from Guinea in West Africa, and sings in eight languages. His previous three releases on PRAH Recordings had singles A-listed on BBC 6 Music and received support from The Guardian, Resident Advisor, The Quietus and Clash, among others. Joe Goddard needs little introduction: he’s the founder of Hot Chip, a hugely celebrated solo artist releasing on Domino Records, and has recent studio collaborations with the likes of Jesse Ware, Amy Douglas and Ibibio Sound Machine.
Fuelled by a freshly discovered creative chemistry with one another, the pair found their groove instantly. This two track debut release (AA side “Lonely” will follow next month) was born out of Joe and Falle’s first ever studio session, where the music flowed effortlessly. On working together, Joe says, “Falle has such a beautiful voice, and singing comes so naturally to him. We talk very little about what we are planning to do in the studio; We trust each other.”
Cousins is the English translation of ‘N’Dekho’, a word chosen by the pair to encapsulate their shared creative vision. The artwork, by Copenhagen-based Studio Arhoj, has been designed to reflect this. It’s out on Greco-Roman, the electronica label that has released Tirzah, Lone, Roosevelt, Disclosure and Joe Goddard.