For Immediate Release
23 January 2018
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Full force fun
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Ahmed Gallab makes music that is joyful and generous, with a razor-sharp message about community and social justice. He led the 15-piece Atomic Bomb Band with collaborators that included David Byrne, Damon Albarn, and Jamie Lidell. Now he visits MASS MoCA with his 6-piece project, horns blazing, on Saturday, February 24, at 8pm.
Born in London, Gallab lived his early life in Sudan before political violence forced his family to flee to Ohio for asylum. His musical interests reflect his global background, borrowing bits and pieces from the music scenes he frequented: Afro-pop, alt-rock, soul, blues, reggae, disco, and funk. Drawing on his musical fluency, he spent his early years as a gun-for-hire, handling percussion and keyboards for the likes of Caribou, of Montreal, and, most recently, Yeasayer. In 2012, after years of collaborating on the road with some of his musical heroes, Gallab established Sinkane to produce his own sound.
Releasing his first album, Mars, in 2012 to critical acclaim, Sinkane sold his sound as something authentically DIY. Pitchfork writes, “[It’s] both refined and easygoing. It works in multiple musical registers simultaneously and smartly — the syncopated rhythms and breezy guitar figures of Sudanese pop, krautrock, early-‘70s funk, free jazz, Fader-friendly global indie — while maintaining a clear authorial voice (largely coming from Gallab’s playing multiple instruments on each song).” Back-to-back songs on the album jump between different genres, themes, and tenors — resulting in a mix tape-like production. Shortly after Mars dropped, Gallab founded the supergroup Atomic Bomb! band, which exclusively played the music of Nigerian funk king William Onyeabor. Recruiting the likes of David Byrne (Talking Heads), Money Mark (Beastie Boys), Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), and Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur), the band’s first performance in 2014 sold out London’s Barbican.
But it’s not only Sinkane’s funky blend of sound that attracts critical acclaim — Pitchfork holes the band’s discography as “a weekend immersed in your local record store’s world music rack” — it’s also his optimistic message that keeps listeners begging for more. “Times are tough, struggles have always existed in our lives, but hope, love and the power of positivity help us stay alive,” Gallab shares. “It is what inspires me to wake up in the morning, make music, and, ultimately, connect with people.” Sinkane leaves its politics at the door and instead finds purpose in music’s capacity for connection and community, as evidenced by its celebrated third album, Life & Livin’ It. “This is homegrown Buddhism,” NPR writes. “[It’s] a guide to aligning life with one’s own expectations and natural rhythms rather than the social norms.”
Dishing out an alluring mix of Afro-rock jams, funky pop, dance beats, and everything in between, Sinkane promises a night of hip-shaking in Club B10, the Berkshires’ hottest nightclub, on Saturday, February 24, at 8pm. Deeply personal and passionately optimistic, expect to lose yourself in Sinkane’s rolling beats, smiling mantra, and get-on-up dance moves.
Fuel up before the show at Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s in-house café, with fresh salads, homemade soup, and lip-smacking pub fare. Bright Ideas Brewing on the MASS MoCA campus serves up gourmet pizzas on the fly, or ease into some fine dining at Gramercy Bistro, adjacent to our front door. The MASS MoCA bar is always well-stocked with local beer and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $10 for students, $14 in advance, $20 day of, and $26 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at massmoca.org.
Sponsored by the Hans and Kate Morris Fund for New Music
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s spring 2018 events are available through this link: bit.ly/WinterSpring2018.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA’s 250,000 sq. ft. of gallery space includes partnerships with Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, Anselm Kiefer with the Hall Art Foundation, Sol LeWitt, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and will reopen in late May 2018. For additional information: 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA is open from 11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays through June 22. From June 23 through September 3, MASS MoCA galleries are open seven days a week — from 10am to 6pm Sundays through Wednesdays and from 10am to 7pm Thursdays through Saturdays.