The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.
It’s rare that an avant-garde composition takes me back to the parties of my teenage years. Upon hearing the first notes of “Agoya,” a song from Saccades, the new full-length collaboration by Rian Treanor and Ocen James, however, I was transported back to the dancehall nights in the Caribbean — perhaps my nostalgic impulse is reaching, but “Agoya” instantly gave me the impression of a hopped-up cousin of Beenie Man’s “Dude.” The energy of the thumping beat, reverbed through an empty, dingy gymnasium, recalls the tumult of Jlin’s heart-kickstarting patterns.
What gives “Agoya” such a fresh soul, though, is James’ presence. Trenor sets the mood with his patchwork of synths, ornate and chaotic as an exploding chandelier, but James — an Acholi musician and fiddle player — binds everything together with haunting folk melodies played on a single-stringed violin called the rigi rigi. Rarely does music in this sphere feel so immediately approachable, but “Agoya” and its accompanying album, perhaps by nature of their improvised creation, reject the cerebral and resemble something not unlike a vessel.