ABAKOS Solar Soldier

ABAKOS Solar Soldier
9
When they released their debut EP, New Constellation, three years ago, ABAKOS were determined to expand their already-rich musical palates. The Montreal duo of Ngabonziza Kiroko, from the electro indie rock group Dear Denizen, and Afro-dance artist Pierre Kwenders, both originally from DR Congo, have been exploring a mix of American R&B, British electro and Congolese rumba with their duo ABAKOS.
 
But their latest release, Solar Soldier, shows the two artists making strident leaps and bounds — not just past their regular gigs, but continuing the unbridled dynamism found on their 2016 release (of which all three songs are included here).
 
Working with Nashville production crew Basecamp and British electro soul artist Jamie Lidell, this 26-minute album is aurally ambitious and resourceful, as the pulsating opener "Run" works as a requisite political song about an unnamed "Mr. President," while "Money to Burn" is a soulful party banger, and the beautifully-produced "For the Hell of It" is a sexually charged slow jam.
 
What makes the Solar Soldier so enjoyable lies in how uniformly proficient Kiroko, Kwenders and their producers come off while transforming from one sound to the next — pushing and pulling together in dance floor samples, beautifully strummed guitar and moody melodies to craft nothing less than an Afro-futuristic masterpiece. (Moonshine)