Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
With this latest LP, Moya Wa Taola, South African electro-dance duo Black Motion delivers another smooth and uncompromising record. With a wider range of instrumentation and higher production value than previous records, Moya Wa Taola provides a must-listen album.
The grooves on this record are infectious. Almost every track incorporates light hand percussion over driving electronic beats, a synthesis that provides a brittle polyrhythmic backbone for the entire record. Standout tracks in this regard include “Prayer for Rain” and “Tana.” “Andinayo” lives in the vein of this as well, adding and removing rhythmic layers to simulate disorienting beat switch-ups toward the end of the track, leaving the listener mesmerized.
Moya Wa Taola includes some particularly tasty synthesizer tones as well. Songs like the aforementioned “Prayer for Rain” and “Moya Wa Taola” showcase buzzy synth leads, while tracks like “I Rise” and “Anyway” contain an immense variety of swirling pads and chords, giving them a broad and ethereal quality. These harmonic aspects are extremely well produced and flesh out the record fully, supporting the complex beats that dominate the whole album.
This record also succeeds in terms of vocal performance. Black Motion has discussed that the album takes influence from the many cultures and musical styles present in South Africa, and it shows. While much of the album is in English, tracks like “Intro” and “Tana” give representation to other languages spoken in the country. Coupled with heartfelt, jazzy performances from MissP and Brenden Praise on “Little Blue Girl” and “Joy Joy” respectively, the vocals greatly strengthen the entire record and bring it to the next level.
Black Motion has provided yet another addictive house classic with plenty of replayability. Moya Wa Taola will certainly be remembered as one of the most notable electronic albums of the year.