Ride It by The Dogon Lights
At the unlikely intersection of West Africa and West Oakland, you will find frolic-galactic-hip-hop ensemble Dogon Lights. Pronounced “doe-gone,” the name is derived from Mali’s Dogon people who are known for their animated mask dances and love of astronomy. This global menagerie of instruments flows between varying cultures, eras and genres as organically as a snake gliding from grass to sand.
A Bay Area-based quintet, Dogon Lights is a conglomeration of highly skilled and experienced musicians who play a dizzying array of instruments. In addition to those you’d expect to hear in a band—guitar, bass, vocals, drums—you may also be delighted by the sounds of, say, a camel-skinned Sintir and a Malian flute (both played by Vir McCoy) or, for the well-trained ear, a jaw-harp (twanged by Evan Fraser). Add Bongo Sidibe’s gyrating Djembe beats, Gary Norris’s funky hip hop drums, and Ashel Seazuns’ lyrical flowery, and you got yourself a regular world-hop funk fest.