Ever since the release of their breakthrough sophomore album 'Uyai' in 2017, the Africa-via-London outfit Ibibio Sound Machine have quickly grown from a cult name to one of the country's most loved emerging acts. Their unique approach to incorporating elements from afrobeats, funk, disco and almost anything else they can get their hands on has been the unique signature to their sound, creating a bold and interesting style in the process. But now returning with their third LP 'Doko Mien', it seems that the expansive outfit have finally found their final form.
Although 'Uyai' was certainly a grand and fascinating experiment, the electronic elements within its production sometimes felt tacked on to the final product. But on this return, they have become fully woven into the overall sound of the record, making this a more comfortable and approachable release. But aside from that, this collection is simply business as usually for Ibibio Sound Machine. Filled with high-energy works such as 'Tell Me (Doko Mien)' and 'She Work Very Hard', the album manages to find that happy middle between all the clashing elements of their sound, which has also allowed to include some more tender moments as well.
As much as fans enjoyed the perspective of 'Uyai', it feels that 'Doko Mien' has been better produced in order to combine all those diverse styles into one direction. Smoother and more insatiable from start to finish, this sounds like the one where the band have truly come into their own and delivered the record that we could all hear inside them.