Ainike Ainike

On their self-titled debut, Toronto, ON-based percussion and instrumental ensemble Ainike deliver an album full of rhythmic diversity. Heavily influenced by the music of the Malinke from Guinea, West Africa (who are known around the world for their percussive innovation), Ainike's spin on their traditional rhythms with Afrobeat fusion creates a lively 70-minute listen. Opener "Matadi" sets the tone for the album's full sound, as a mishmash of instruments create various rhythms that work to complement each other, whether it's the tenor sax being accompanied by djembes or hand-held shakers emphasizing trilling guitar. Throughout the record, sax players Todd Porter and Richard Underhill belt their horns with fast, strong, deliberate toots while guitarists Serge Cimpaye and Eric St-Laurent make liberal use of their guitar necks, gliding up and down, releasing a multitude of notes. The most danceable tracks are "Joy Rising" and "N'Fa Kaba." (Independent)