Caught up with the folks from Rolling Stone during our recent trip to Bogotá. So grateful for the opportunity to share this story! – Mun
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IIII+IIII, pronounced “Edgy-Og-Beh” is the title of the nine song debut album from Puerto Rico’s critically acclaimed electronic ensemble, ÌFÉ. Headed by San Juan based African American Otura Mun, himself a Babalawo or high priest in the Yoruban religion, ÌFÉ has captured the imagination and ears of the international community since releasing its first two singles, 3 Mujeres (Iború Iboya Ibosheshé) and House of Love (Ogbe Yekun). Now, following successful European and North American tours, ÌFÉ releases its first full length musical offering, a 45 minute opening ceremony that seems equal parts blessing, adoration, and manifesto.
From its opening track to its closing prayer the album conveys a deep sense of spiritual intent, a sureness in its voice and purpose that is both brave and bold while maintaining the vulnerability and unsureness that the most intimate and honest of conversations always require. It’s been clear from the beginning that ÌFÉ is in a space uniquely its own. From the way in which the music is conceived, a live electronic performance, no programming, to its component parts, Cuban Rumba, Sacred Yoruba praise songs, Jamaican Dancehall, and American R&B, to the way it moves seamlessly from English to Spanish to Yoruba, the music is wilfully out of genre, yet focused and clear in a way that makes its newness seem rare, compelling. Serene and floating at times, determined, erotic, and raw at others, the music is as improbable as it is natural, a youthful knowing sound, aware of the weight of its voice, the ground that’s been traveled, and the urgency and uncompromising fierceness needed to meet the day.
01 PRELUDIO (Ejiogbe)
02 BANGAH (Pico y Palo)
04 UMBO (Come Down)
05 HOUSE OF LOVE (Ogbe Yekun)
06 3 MUJERES (Iború Iboya Ibosheshé)
07 PRAYER FOR ODUDUWA (Para Merceditas)
08 HIGHER LOVE
09 YARI GEMINI (Beyi La)
‘My first listen to ÌFÉ’s debut album, IIII+IIII (pronounced Eji-Ogbe), was such an incredibly special moment that I wish I could repeat it over and over.’ – NPR
Read the article on NPR.
BANGAH (Pico y Palo), the lead single from ÌFÉ’s forthcoming LP “IIII+IIII”, is a literal one word war cry for freedom in the here and now, a musical declaration of independence. Built around director Otura Mun’s reflections on the Orisha Ogun, the Yoruban “God of War”, Bangah is the relentless sound of the machete, the face of determination, and the flat out rejection of fear on any personal level. It’s decided, we prepare, we begin. BANGAH!
Read ÌFÉ’s Otura Mun interview with The Fader
‘Meet ÌFÉ, The Puerto Rican-Based Group Singing Songs Of Decolonization. Yoruba with soul and hip-hop influences that create an expansive Afro-Caribbean groove.’