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  • ReleaseProduct
    Could We Be More Remixes
    Brownswood Recordings
    Catalogue Number
    Release Date
    10 November 2023

    Over a year since the release of their exhilarating debut Could We Be More, Kokoroko present a new collection of remixes of tracks from their first album. The record brings together a dizzying, globe-spanning array of contemporary music’s most forward-thinking artists, each bringing their own unique identity to the project while maintaining the immersive sound-world of the original. Could We Be More Remixes is due 10th November 2023 via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings.

    All the remixers share a common approach with the band, filtering global influences and backgrounds through the lens of their hometown. As a result, each remix explores and stretches the core elements of the debut in different ways. Home-grown London talents Eun and Demae, both associates of the Touching Bass collective that sprouted from the same scene as Kokoroko, turn in a spaced-out version of ‘Tojo’ that manages to be introspective and driving at the same time, reminiscent of some of the best work on Moodymann’s imprints.

    The talents of Could We Be More’s producer are called upon next. Miles James continues where ‘Something’s Going On’ left off, turning the synth-funk up several notches. To call anaiis’ version of ‘Home’ a remix would almost be an understatement. Anaiis uses the original as a launchpad, her soaring vocals taking the song’s sentiments to dizzying new heights. The toe-tapping Highlife groove of ‘Ewà Inú’ is twisted into a lurching Batida stepper by Vanyfox that skews expectations and stumbles the listener into a blissful trumpet-led ambient outro.This is followed by Washington-native dreamcastmoe’s take on the track. His version defies genre, scattering fragments of the original, soulful vocals and chords over a heavy 808 bass chug. ‘We Give Thanks (KeiyaA Remix)’ sees the Chicago-based multi-hyphenate mining the depths of the sparse skittering cyber-soul elements that were a feature of her own debut. Kokoroko’s organic vocals and instrumentation are tied down to a bedrock of icy drum machines, handclaps and electronics resulting in a scintillating frisson.

    The final two artists on the record submit remixes along more traditional lines. Ash Lauryn and Stefan Ringer twist and reform the angelic vocals and Afrobeats sentiments of ‘Dide O’ into a driving deep house banger; the floating melodic refrain suspended over a rolling synth bass and propulsive drums. Finally, London producer of the moment Hagan does what he does best. In his hands, ‘War Dance’ transforms into a dark and moody afro-house dance floor weapon. Ominous pads, a monstrous bass-line and hectic percussion combine with the song’s fiery brass culminating into a climactic breakdown built around Sheila Maurice-Grey’s explosive trumpet solo.

    Could We Be More was an ambitious and expansive album. Stretched out over 15 tracks, Kokoroko’s debut release wove together Afro-beat jam-outs, funk grooves, psychedelic flutters, brass stabs and soaring soul with dub-echo, astral electronics and introverted interludes. All combining to create an immersive experience evoking the band’s multi-faceted notions of home.

    This is a beautiful sister release to Kokoroko’s Could We Be More. The remixes treat the source material with care but imbue them with a potent energy, strangely reminiscent of seeing the band perform live. This collection follows the album and achieves what few remix albums are able to; creating a headphone listening experience while at the same time drawing out the dance music elements for the club.

    Could We Be More Remixes is due 10th November 2023 via Brownswood Recordings.

    Digital Tracklist

    1. 1 Tojo (Eun Remix feat. Demae) 2:44 Buy

      Tojo (Eun Remix feat. Demae)

    2. 2 Somethings Going On (Miles James Remix) 5:04 Buy

      Somethings Going On (Miles James Remix)

    3. 3 Home (anaiis Remix) 3:09 Buy

      Home (anaiis Remix)

    4. 4 Ewà Inú (Vanyfox Remix) 3:14 Buy

      Ewà Inú (Vanyfox Remix)

    5. 5 Ewà Inú (Dreamcastmoe's Smoked Out Remix) 5:40 Buy

      Ewà Inú (Dreamcastmoe's Smoked Out Remix)

    6. 6 We Give Thanks (KeiyaA Remix) 5:34 Buy

      We Give Thanks (KeiyaA Remix)

    7. 7 Dide O (Ash Lauryn & Stefan Ringer Remix) 4:40 Buy

      Dide O (Ash Lauryn & Stefan Ringer Remix)

    8. 8 War Dance (Hagan Remix) 6:20 Buy

      War Dance (Hagan Remix)

Today sees the phenomenal, London based 8-piece band Kokoroko release their long-awaited debut album Could We Be More via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings.

Could We Be More is an expansive and ambitious album that speaks to the force of Kokoroko. Each song possesses the energy which so naturally underpins the heartbeat of Kokoroko’s identity - deftly moving through afrobeat, highlife, soul, and funk across the album’s 15 tracks and taking inspiration from a plethora of other influences from within the West-African and Caribbean communities that the band grew up listening to - the album gifts the listener feelings of homecoming and joy.

Speaking on the origins of Could We Be More, band members Sheila Maurice-Grey and Onome Edgeworth explain: “I think home has hugely informed the way we write and play our music. Everyone comes from different backgrounds but the thing that unites us in Kokoroko is that we all have a similar love and appreciation for afrobeat and highlife, whether that’s Ebo Taylor or Pat Thomas,” Sheila says. “It’s that feeling when you’re younger and you hear something and you feel some ownership over it. For me, Nigerian music and soul was played in the house a lot so I felt I had ownership over it so when I heard it elsewhere, there was a certain pride and energy filled with it. Recreating a piece of music that fills you with pride, ‘this is a piece of me and this is what I came from,’” Onome adds.

Kokoroko have come to represent all that is blissfully sweet about London’s improvised music scene - an echo of the past that has taken on new forms while still sounding new and entirely original. The band are a vibrant example of the shape of things to come for British music: having released just 7 tracks (1x EP and 3x singles) in their short career, they have quickly developed a huge cult following with 60Million+ Spotify streams to their name and a classic record already under their belt in 2018's intimate viral masterpiece ‘Abusey Junction’.

As they release their similarly immersive debut album, Kokoroko’s return feels particularly poignant. The collective are already winners of ‘Best Group’ at the Urban Music Awards 2020 and the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2021, have been lauded in the NPR Austin 100 list, been crowned One To Watch by The Guardian, played across the globe at the likes of Glastonbury, Meltdown Festival, Elbjazz, Jazz a la Villette, We Out Here, SIM São Paulo and BBC6 Music Festival (to name a few), performed a raucous session for Boiler room and made their BBC Proms debut in the Royal Albert Hall; all up front of their debut record, which is as, progressive and musically versatile as you would expect from the eight different personalities within Kokoroko.

With equal support across BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, Jazz FM, CLASH, Crack, The Observer, Evening Standard, Mixmag, Trench, gal-dem, Loud & Quiet, Rolling Stone, NATAAL + many more - what Kokoroko have achieved in the past four years is nothing short of remarkable.

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