Country : United States Label : Warp Genres and styles : Afro-Electro / Drum & Bass / Neo-Soul / UK garage Year : 2023

Kelela – Raven

· by Alain Brunet

Here’s another tale of resurrection. African-American of Ethiopian descent, Kelela Mizanekristos had made a great impression in 2017, that is, with this electro-soul album called “Take Me Apart”. Then various minor projects followed and … not much from 2019 until February 2023, more or less the pandemic period. Pop music being what it is, half a decade of absence is often equivalent to oblivion. And here is Kelela resurfacing against all odds. “Raven” is more aerial and yet often linked to rhythms sometimes more English and African than American, drum’n’bass, jungle, UK garage, afro-electro and more. It is not surprising that the mythical English label Warp endorses this project. The beatmaking is done by Kaytranada, Asmara, Mocky, LSDXOXO, Bambii, Junglepussy, in all 14 specialists of micro-production, spread over 14 songs presented in the form of a continuum without apparent break. The soulful tunes are suspended above the beat and the electronic alluvium accumulated by his creative stream. Kelela flies across the dance floor and asserts herself as an African-American queer woman dealing with the vagaries of her existence: power relationships, the passion inherent in new love, feminist posturing as a black woman in 2023, rebuilding and reframing the ego, the search for new energy, catharsis.

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