Words by Tom Clarke.
Ribongia’s ESCAPISMS EP is just what it proclaims to be: an enchanting aural escape. The Sydney-based producer’s name spawns from 17th century Florence and translates to “chaos; pandemonium; rowdiness; general mischief” or “disarray” as a slang term, which is exactly what Ribongia plays on stylistically throughout his EP.
Released on October Records, the extended play is an amalgamation of different sounds, styles, paces and textures that references the ‘pandemonium’ and ‘rowdiness’ of its creator, real name Antonio Roselli del Turco, and his approach to making music.
Lead single “Journeys” begins what is quite literally a journey through del Turco’s eclectic EP, opening with a smooth synth soundscape that soon explodes into dreamlike African melodies and percussion. The banging track mellows down at the 4-minute mark and offers what might be the perfect description of Ribongia’s mischievous sound with a cool vocal sample that reads, “It was on an earlier journey, more on camels than yachts, when I was first inspired to integrate actual field recordings with the music of my head”.
The music of Ribongia’s head really is something else, as “Downstream” follows “Journeys” with more tribal melodic sounds and airy synth work, including del Turco’s sustained use of unique field recordings from Ocora, the French label/radio station who (according to Pilerats’ track by track review of the EP) collated an archive of “the sounds of the French colonies in the African continent.”
This consistency is soon lost in the wind however as airy synths are swapped out for denser percussion that lends itself more to hip hop on “My Word” rather than Ribongia’s previous electronic vibes. The tempo is lifted with a feature from “HVNCOQ” (Hancoq) who complements the heavy bass and African tribalism nicely, offering one of the album’s largest tunes.
The rest of the album runs the same with big tracks that change pace at the drop of a hat and vary in style and sonic texture. The entire 6 track EP is testament to the work of del Turco whose music is quite literally an expose on the nature of ribongia – offering 6 tracks that express a special kind of chaos and rowdiness. This one’s definitely worth a listen.
Stream Ribongia’s ESCAPISMS EP below: