Giddy electronics from Harlem via Oslo and the Ivory Coast
Recording as Baya, Andrew Murray has been lurking around for a while, exploring some deliciously moody electronics. Under the name Baarsden he remixed Grimes’ ‘Oblivion’ to fine effect, and has also remixed Warpaint and Dan Croll.
The track ‘Luft’, which emerged on his Soundcloud earlier this year, is a deliciously dark weave of electronics, all arpeggiating synths against a swirling moody melody, like a classic synthpop duo has necked some psychoactive drugs and is having an ecstatic out-of-body experience. His first official release is an EP ‘Oslo // Harlem’ whose lead track ‘A Call To Say Hello’ is a moving account of meeting with his father for the first time. He doesn’t sugar coat the encounter: ‘“You know I’ve been here since 1988/Not a single call from you just to say hello…” he sings, as the synths bounce along with sympathetic melancholy.
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Baya is a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, a singer and a synth geek whose life straddles Norway, New York, the Ivory Coast and, it says here, Scotland. His live shows are full-on blood, sweat and tears art spectacles that make full use of his fabulous hair. His once-absent father is Sompohi Baya, an artist and one of the first West Africans to win a scholarship to study sculpture in Rome and at the Art Academy in Bergen. The themes in his work, which revolve around traditional masks of the Ivory Coast and architecture of western religion, are used in the video for ‘A Call To Say Hello’, which features Baya’s father talking about his role as an absent father and the joy of reconnecting with his son. With all these currents eddying around, Baya’s output should worth keeping an eye on.
The ‘Oslo // Harlem’ EP is out on Obscenic