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African-born, Baltimore-based experimental hip-hop producer Infinity Knives joins Phantom Limb for the release of his unique debut album Dear, Sudan, a vibrant and polymathic labyrinth of moods and colours.
Infinity Knives - aka producer and musician Tariq Ravelomanana - moved from Tanzania (via Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar) to Baltimore with his family as a teenager, soaking up the raw, vociferous hip hop culture around him, devouring Western classical music, and embedding himself with the city’s verdant music scene. This unique combination of life experiences and contrasting strands of musical education empowered and enabled him to create his Infinity Knives guise, allowing us a window into his singular energy with Dear, Sudan.
Tariq writes “Music has always been my medium. Since I was a child living in Tanzania, music has been my babysitter. The one central idea I kept dwelling on was that all humans experience sorrow, but despite the fact that it's universal, we still experience it as if we were alone.”
Appropriately, Infinity Knives casts a wide and thrilling net. Dear, Sudan runs like a masterful showreel of deftly balanced disparate elements, a late night channel-hopping between multiple, vital, powerful musics. Tariq himself offers “experimental, drone, hip hop, leftfield minimalism, neo-classical and Baltimore” as his key styles. “I wanted Dear, Sudan to be a record of the things that I enjoy, the things that keep me coming back to this life and I wanted it to be in the language I understand the most. I hope that this album can be a companion to those in need.”
released November 6, 2020
All songs written, recorded and mixed by Tariq Ravelomanana (Infinity Knives) in Baltimore, Maryland
Mastered by Alyn Sclosa
Lyrics and vocals: Drug Dealer, Drug Dealer, Brian's #1 USA Freestyle, Black Addicts - Brian Ennals
Lyrics and vocals: Tyler Moonlight - Tyler Moonlight
Lyrics and vocals: In The Mouth of Sadness - Tyler Moonlight and Bobbi Rush
Lyrics and vocals: Sway Me, Sway Me Into The Arms of The Lord - Allison Clendaniel
Artwork & Graphic Design by M.K. Komins & Jack Hardwicke
Like so many others, this came like a bolt out of the blue and, even though it's well before payday, I had to have this astonishing album on vinyl to prove it exists. The feel of the tunes makes me feel like the Impressions do, Curtis Mayfield, the big spaces and instinctive horns and stuff drifting in and out. Great grooves and I can see lots of ghosts nodding along to this with big smiles on their faces. At last! Anthony Cottrell