An insight into the discography of Jamaican collective Equiknoxx, Bird Sound Power graced 2016’s summer with a wave of dancehall experimentalism. Weaving elements of dance music, R&B and hip-hop into the fabric of Jamaica’s urban sound, the work of main Equiknoxx collaborators Gavborg and Time Cow attracted a far-reaching fanbase, evident on the record’s DDS release, and its curation by Jon K and Swing Ting.
Innovative at its heart, Bird Sound Power is both fluid and fractured in style, piecing together the quintessential syncopations of dancehall rhythms with twisted synths, percussive distortions, vocal fragments and Equiknoxx’s signature birdcalls. Its genius lies in this very synthesis of dual components; at times as sinister as it is sexy, it’s a record which masterfully captures the inherent swagger of its genre within a minimalist framework, its productions as equally as alluring to electronic music heads as to dancehall lovers. Yet perhaps most impressive of all is the album’s fusion of past and present. Whilst undoubtedly forward-thinking in both its sound and structure, Equiknoxx never stray too far from their dancehall roots, offering a distinctly modern approach whilst simultaneously paying testament to their sonic origins. Refreshing, playful and profoundly creative, Bird Sound Power is an essential listen.
Words: Georgia Tobin