Following a series of successful singles and debut EP “Kucheza,” Kenyan-Norwegian duo Unganisha’s debut album “Mbili Mbili” is out. This duo’s members are Labdi Ommes and Bernt Isak Wærstad. The 11-track ensemble is one of their best releases yet, with songs such as “Baddie,” “Ochwe” and “Kendo.”
This project marks a pinnacle in their cross-cultural collaboration that merges traditional Luo music with experimental electronic music. The album’s title embodies the essence of their music, capturing the coexistence of celebration and contemplation in life. It is an exhilarating and vibrant musical collection, showcasing innovative sounds from this dynamic duo.
Unganisha has always been synonymous with playfulness and fearless exploration, and this album is no exception. Embracing the album format has enabled them to expand their creative boundaries, exploring diverse sounds while addressing serious and intricate themes.
“Mbili Mbili” Tracks
The album seamlessly blends irresistible dance floor rhythms and carefree melodies with thought-provoking content. Notably, “Kendo” introduces a new dimension as their first ballad, offering a poignant perspective on humanity’s impact on our planet. Meanwhile, “Mbona” delivers an electrifying groove while addressing the issue of colorism in our world.
With their debut album, Unganisha has taken their ethos of collaboration and experimentation to new heights. They have ventured beyond their established creative roles, jointly crafting both the production and lyrics for the album. This approach embodies the true meaning of their name, “Unganisha,” which translates to “to join together” in Kiswahili. This collaborative effort has strengthened their creative bond and fueled their pursuit of an experimental future rooted in tradition.
Unganisha’s fusion of cultures and musical expressions extends beyond the core duo, featuring a diverse lineup of guest artists. “Ochwe” is the third track featuring Kasiva Mutua, and Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen, known for her avant-garde metal junk percussion and signature snare drum rolls, contributes to over half the album. West African percussion legend Sidiki Camara, recognized for his grooves on the 2020 Unganisha single “Mpenzi,” adds his expertise with singing drum, djembe, and ngoni.
Stream “Mbili Mbili”