Sierra Leonean artist and producer Lamin Fofana is back with a new album called Ballad Air & Fire which is out now via Black Studies. According to the press release, it is the first instalment in an album trilogy, which will be followed by Shafts of Sunlight on July 29th and The Open Boaton August 26th. Sonically, Parts 2 and 3 question the impositions of western rationality in music, and reimagine geographies of African diasporic people respectively. 

He explains: “Ballad Air & Fire is the name of a poem by Amiri Baraka. Over the last year, I have been working/conspiring/sabotaging with and against time. With the global pandemic and the world slowing down/shutting down/“lockdown”, I find myself using slowness as a de/re/composition tool, to heighten, to intensify, to deepen certain contradictions in music, in time, in my practice, in an attempt to generate something new, something that gives way to new perceptions. Ballad Air & Fire is a preview, a glimpse into my next project… the first instalment in a triptych dealing with an underlying theme of slowness, a history of movement, of unfolding folding human drama/catastrophe, and of creating a space for reflection for voices historically sidelined or marginalized. It’s fractured and fragmented – what’s ahead – but it’s coming up, it’s coming together.

Listen below.