Friday, August 7th, 2020

Bosh – Djomb

After years of invocation, we’ve summoned him at last…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Bosh has stated that he almost didn’t include “Djomb” on his recently released second album Synkinisi, and I can see why. Greek for “emotions,” Synkinisi is a French rap exploration of joy, sadness, and anger, inspired by Bosh’s American rap peers like 50 Cent, Gunna, and Future. Most of the tracks are named things like “Never,” “Black Heart,” or “Solitary,” and the album feels intense and intentional. “Djomb,” on the other hand, is just a throwaway club track. It’s silly, it knows it’s silly, and it revels in its own silliness. French slang for “beautiful” or “hot,” the track is a minefield of club references, sound effects, and indecipherable verlan, all executed to perfection. Even if it doesn’t fully belong, I’m glad that it sneaked its way onto the album.

Tim de Reuse: Two minutes of pleasant wordplay (which I was able to enjoy after googling the relevant argot) that nevertheless spends most of its time delivering a forgettable hook. It’s not horrible as a centerpiece, but it doesn’t have anything in particular going for it either: a carefully descending melody that takes no surprising directions and the least interesting lyrics of the whole thing. The two-second stutter of “elle qu’insiste, elle qu’insiste” is more engaging.

Tobi Tella: Not the most beautiful sentiment (with a curious focus on lower back shape), but the pulsing beat and Bosh’s charisma carry it to the end without losing much steam.

Iain Mew: The chomping sound of chewing off the title word is such a joy, even more so when the deep bass approaches a similar action. It’s concentrated enough to keep the melancholy sparkle set against it from coming off as a played out trick, even. 

Scott Mildenhall: Such parsimonious repetition can sometimes tire, but there’s something phonaesthetically pleasing about the word djomb as punctuated by Bosh. His casual intensity makes for a nice counterweight to the track’s lighter touches, with him the commander of a mightily efficient coming-together of multiple earworms.

Katherine St Asaph: The track’s like a library-music version of a pop-house song sampling “Around the World”: functional, anonymous, just familiar enough, and fast gone from memory.

Alex Clifton: I understand about three phrases in French, so I tried to read the original lyrics to figure what it’s about. I caught a scant few words and looked it up — it’s kind of a butt song! And a decent one at that! Granted, that’s not a high bar, and it’s a bit more than that, but “Wiggle” has left me wary of such songs for years. Everything really does sound better in French, I guess.

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