Nneka

Thursday

SXSW Records

Nneka

Concrete Jungle (Decon/Epic)

Nigerian-born Nneka Egbuna is a global musician whose experience in the streets of Africa and the clubs of Northern Europe positions her as an artist on par with Sri Lanka's M.I.A. A creature of Na'vilike independence, Nneka finds joy in reggae beats, dismay at the corruption of governments from Abuja to Washington, and energy in the club. Her frequent collaborator DJ Farhot shapes a soundscape around the singer's rich voice on multiple tracks, including the contemporary soul of "Heartbeat." Elsewhere, mixmaster Sven Waje brings a Badu-worthy retro vibe to "Come With Me." The message throughout is one of post-colonial unity, a strictly forward-looking stance reflected in an update of Curtis Mayfield's "Walking," reiterated hopefully on "Africans," and with anger on "The Uncomfortable Truth." By the time the political party concludes with religious/romantic closer "God of Mercy," Nneka's evocative rhymes and miasmic tones make clear her outsize talent has small use for earthly boundaries. (Wed., 5pm, Day Stage; Thu., 9:30pm, the Parish; Fri., 1am, Beauty Bar/Palm Door.)

***.5

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