Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Sun-El Musician x Ami Faku – Into Ingawe

One of our faves returns with a guest from Voice South Africa


Ian Mathers: It’s not that all beautiful music feels effortless, it’s that there’s a specific kind of beauty that feels in the moment as if it’s effortless. Both the production here, which feels like one gorgeous unified flow at first but has plenty of small, rewarding details (the almost subliminal little guitar fillips might be my favourite), and Ami Faku’s performance, which nimbly skips from register to register and is spellbinding in all of them, pass by with what feels like the lightest touch, in a very good way.

Will Adams: It’s lovely, as expected — Sanele Sithole’s production is warm and lush, and Ami Faku is an inviting vocalist — but I prefer Sun-El Musician’s uptempo offerings, where the music beckons you to throw your hands in the air. “Into Ingawe” beckons you more to recline on a sun-dappled chaise lounge, though that doesn’t make it any less gorgeous.

Scott Mildenhall: Another lush production, and another deft new performer. Faku provides the rough and the smooth for Sun-El’s reliably propulsive production. He makes music that sounds meditative, and she meets it in tessellation; spiritual lyrics and spirited delivery.

Alfred Soto: Singing in her native Xhosa lends Ami Faku a simplicity of effect well-suited to Sun-El’s tinny, mild house beats. As long as it needs to be, as brief as a buzz.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: As lush as this may be, “Into Ingawe” doesn’t hit quite as hard as other songs from the Sun-El camp. Ami Faku’s vocals are beautiful, but they’re mostly just frilly ornamentation, and they don’t rope me into the song like Simmy’s often did. The beat, while an agreeable melange of honeyed synth pads and smooth percussion, would benefit from being less homogenous. The result is a song that’s just a bit too loungey.

Jonathan Bradley: Sun-El Musician’s warm and airy house track wafts with a gentle updraft that is urged along by Ami Faku’s yearning high vocal. The rhythm doesn’t achieve the alchemical transcendence of earlier Sun-El singles “Bamthathile” or “Akanamali,” but it finds space to soar nonetheless.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The beat here is more jittery and percussive than the chilled out disco that Sun-El Musician has put out before– it’s still effective, though perhaps less smooth. Instead, the smoothness of “Into Ingawe” is provided by Ami Faku’s vocals, layered and looped into dazzling displays of melody. It’s a vocal performance that feels at once in motion and completely steady and self-assured.

Iris Xie: The instrumental and songwriting are tasteful here. I’ve heard a lot of deeply unsubtle EDM-pop songs that try to use this mixture of arrangement, rhythm, chords and soft, glittery piano-lite synths, but rather than sending the listener into an ecstasy, it comes off as harsh, bloated, and unjoyful. Here, Sun-El Musician and Ami Faku exercise their restraint; the vocals are buoyant and warm and are helped along by how well-balanced the strings, piano, and shakers are in the mix. This results in “Into Ingawe” sounding lush, like one being enveloped in the petrichor after a light rain.

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