Steadily making a name for himself in our musical subconscious with a range of EP’s over the past couple of years (Banana Wine being a particular standout), Mauritian/English singer and producer Mo Kolours fully collided with our world when he put his soul tinged organic twist on Jehst’s Starting Over as part of the Dragon of an Ordinary Family Remixes LP. His sound seems to speak the tale of last minute triumphs and idle successes, free flowing as it lazily blags it’s way through Hip Hop, Dub, Reggae, Funk and Soul influences amidst swinging drums and chops that bring a mixtape feel to proceedings. However, despite it’s relaxed nature, it’s a sound that simply resonates deeply, matching the brains tempo with apparent ease as his obvious knack for crafting music, and particularly in navigating the ebbs and flows of longer releases, modestly nods it’s head from behind it’s creations of second nature.
Upping the ante from his aforementioned trio of EPs, his first album, simply titled Mo Kolours, just made it’s way to the public through One Handed Music. A playful, cheekily inventive eighteen tracks that follows on from the likes of Massive Attack, Moodyman and Roots Manuva in stamping a remarkably British stamp of coy on a heavily dub influenced sound, merging it all with an infectious yet mellow joy as his subtle vocals creep through a journey heavily laden with background atmospherics. From the baby who’s cries form the first tone of the record to the lone echoing burst of laughter on the first bass note of In Her Eyes’ glitching funk, it’s a record that transport you deeply into Mo Kolours world as it speaks tales of appreciation for the every day and the joy of expressing the ordinary through music.
Often described as a Drum Programmer/Singer/Producer in any variety of orders, none of his talents are overpowering in presence but each sit back and come forward in turn, the temptation to too heavily mimic the vocal style of lead track Little Brown Dog’s undeniably feel good soul throughout. Instead, a heavy focus on vocal samples brings an overpowering sense of journey to proceedings as various characters come and go, bringing and taking with them various atmosphere’s from the steadily pacing african percussion of Afro Quarters to the bustling sirens punctuating the rainy late night sax of Childs Play and the sinister, fiery visions of Jehst’s dark spoken word that introduces the bending and scuttling sound of Natural Disasters Wish List.
Distinctly organic, crackling hardware collides with more modern synth play on many an occasion such as the electronic wobble play of 16-Bit Slaves. Similarly, Curly Girly’s pumping bassline providing the magic carpet for Mo’s mellow reggae style to great effect before he later dives into a more modern house sound with the luscious pads of Mike Black, his contemplative vocals finishing off one of the album’s greatest peaks. Say Word’s hazed funk and languid shakers create an irresistible piece of foot tap inducing zoning music for another highlight. Meanwhile, the effortless hum inducing guitar riff of Love For You plays like the morning music of life’s finest Sunday amid soul infused humming and shuffling wood blocks.
An album that speaks for it’s massive range of influences while refusing to get stuck in any gaps or fall prey to it’s ambiguity of scope, Mo Kolours crafts this sonic sculpture with a the mind of a professional and the heart of a zealous fan. If Afro Quarters epitomises it’s tribal influence and Love For You it’s more sunny complexion, then Play it Loud speaks for it’s South London surroundings, gritty spoken word meeting rasping synths for a track that showcases exactly how seamlessly Mo Kolours has managed to blend his heritages and influences into his own distinct style. His music forever relishes life’s pleasure’s and celebrates the sunshine while never ignoring it’s greys for an album that bends to it’s surroundings perfectly, it’s abundance of short skits and switch ups keeping it forever entertaining. Listen below and pick it up free on Bandcamp here. Also, check for the album launch at London’s The Waiting Room on April 2nd (tickets here).