Akoko Ajeji

Akoko Ajeji means "Strange Time" in Yoruba. All the tracks on this album are in complex polymeter, which means that they use multiple prime meters simultaneously. Each instrumental part is written in a different meter, and consequently the instruments shift phase or "slip" relative to each other. For example, the kick pattern could be in 4/4, the organ part in 5/4, the hi-hat in 7/4, and so on. The result is an intricate but non-random pattern of interference, similar to a moiré pattern. The album's theme is trance, and its titles are in Yoruba because Yoruba has evocative and beautiful words for trance, music, and dancing.

Akoko Ajeji is very likely the only album in the world entirely in complex polymeter. In terms of rhythmic complexity, it's hard to find anything to compare it to other than my previous releases. It differs from them in that polymeter is now the primary focus, and determines not only the rhythm, but the harmony too. The technique is as radical in its way as the pitch sets of atonal music were in the 1920s. It's a new approach to music composition, and a new type of algorithmic music. One proof of this is that I had to write (re-write) my own MIDI sequencer in order to even begin composing this album, because commercial sequencers and DAWs simply can't handle complex polymeter.

Akoko Ajeji extends polymeter beyond Steve Reich's ideas into new domains, especially permutational harmony generation, and fuses algorithmic music with the traditions of techno and jazz.

Release date is September 6 on Perlon Records. Preorder it from Word and Sound.