After several evocative pseudonyms, Ibaaku chose his first name in Djola for this new project, marking a turning point for this multidisciplinary artist. Born in Dakar, but originally from Casamance, Ibaaku is a prolific artist; not only a producer but also a multi-instrumentalist, author, composer and radio host.
Before launching his solo career, he has worked for a few years with the best Senegalese hip-hop artists, including Xuman, Keyti, Daara J (Faada Freddy's group) and PPS. He furthermore remains a key member of the collective I-Science.
Ibaaku also collaborates regularly with other cultural and artistic fields, such as fashion, visual arts and video. The already cult record « Alien Cartoon »was born from the collaboration between the Senegalese designer Selly Raby Kane (who dressed Beyoncé among others) and Ibaaku, (who composed the music for one of her fashion shows).
Both hip-hop and experimental electro music, blended with Senegalese references and remixed local sounds, represent the major influences of the DJ’s first opus. Here and there, some great references to the Beat Scene and its leader Flying Lotus can be found. We may also think of Sun Ra as an intellectual and visual reference, notably because of the Afro-futuristic imagery proposed by the two artists.
Let yourself go on the Seneg-Alien’s space shift to measure the unique power of this cosmic being from Dakar’s nights!
What the press has to say:
“Senegalese producer Ibaaku’s “Djula Dance” is a prime example of Afrofuturism as it stands today: an eclectic, electronic opus to a fantasy alien attack.” The Fader
“The 11 songs on the Dakar-based artist’s upcoming release through Akwaaba Music play like a haywire crossing of distorted bass, thumping hip-hop inspired breakbeats and Senegalese samples. It’s a sound that’s at the same time dizzying and completely hypnotizing.” Okay Africa
“There’s a lot of electronic music coming of Africa these days, and none of it sounding quite like anything else. But a little over 6,000 miles from Capetown to the Senegal capital of Dakar, a producer named Ibaaku is turning heads with a West African variant of Afrofuturism.” Thump.Vice
“Alien Cartoon album is the mirror of Afrofuturism today, the title itself “Alien + Cartoon” remits me for the speculative imagination that most African culture should be seen by the other, the false idealization of a proper place, a proper behaviour, a proper interpretation that leads to grotesque conceptions as a response to established clichés of race, corporeality and gender. New questions addressed to the ever mutating Afrofuturism connotation that is shaping the work of contemporary artists like Ibaaku, carrier of unparalleled artistic path that start taking form when playing keys and clarinet that slowly brought him into various genres like Hip Hop, Souk, Jazz and Folk.” Lacroixx
“His kick-off single and video “Djula Dance” captures the essence of this dude’s weird like no other. Avant-garde dancing on the moon? Not something you see every day. His dreads tied up into antennas kind of makes sense once you hear it." The Culture Trip
"Its success led to the emergence of a new kind of music in Senegal, a wave set to rival variations of electronic music all over the world. We sat down with the creator multidisciplinary artist Stephen “Ibaaku” Bassene after an ethereal performance at the What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam on 1 July.” Design Indaba
“Ibaaku, a Senegalese artist who brings the “Afro-futurism” back on the dancefloor thanks to his vertiginous afro-psychedelic music, influenced by the “black” experience. Some Sun Ra’s sci-fi going on? Nothing surprising, as we can notice the visual esthetic in his clips, tainted by a hyper-galactic mysticism.” Les Inrocks
“The Senegalese Ibaaku, and his psychedelic compositions are a total hit on the dancefloors!!!” RFI Musique
“Creative! Captivating! Innovative! Lively! Surprising! Original! Here are the most common adjectives that emerge after looking Ibaaku’s superb video “Djula Dance”. Ibaaku will certainly position himself as the key artist of a afro-pop dance movement, almost freshly new in West Africa even though it is hard to strictly define this artist. For Ibaaku himself, his music is called “afro-hypnotic electro”." Music In Africa
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IBAAKU / DJULA DANCE (OFFICIAL CLIP)
IBAAKU / Yang Fogoye
IBAAKU - Monkey Boy
IBAAKU / Live @ WDCD
Ibaaku - live Alien Cartoon @ Institut français Dakar