Sudan Archives Athena album coverA few years ago Sudan Archives posted a performance video online. No one had heard or seen anything like this before: a reworking of Kendrick Lamar’s King Kunta using vocals, loop pedal, and violin.

Her live version captures the joy of the original but also completely transforms it, radiating with a restrained power. The world met Queen Kunta.

A series of EPs soon followed, combining R&B, experimental electronic and traditional violin playing styles of Northeast Africa. Sudan Archives now describes these earlier releases as ‘haikus’ which paved the way for Athena, her full-length debut. It’s a generous display of Sudan Archive’s talents: a unique combination of poetry, virtuosic violin and rhythm. In these songs we hear Sudan Archives’ reverence for history, fascination with the present, and instinct for creating new paths.

Athena by Sudan Archives is out November 1 via Stones Throw.

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