Nok Cultural Ensemble is a new project from Atyap (Nigerian-British) musician Edward Wakili-Hick (Sons of Kemet, Steam Down, Kokoroko), a fluid and evolving collective, which features an impressive line up of Edward’s collaborators including; Onome Edgeworth (Kokoroko), Joseph Deenmamode (Mo Kolours), Dwayne Kilvington (Wonky Logic), Theon Cross, Sulyiman (Afrorack), Watusi87 (RU1 Fam), Zarak (Blue Alchemy), Niyabja aka Simeline Jean-Baptiste (DJ Noss), David Wehinm (Omah Lay, Ezra Collective) and Angel Bat Dawid.
On the upcoming album Njhyi, the Nok Cultural Ensemble centres diverse Afro-diasporic percussive traditions. Glitching beats unfold on African timelines, expressed through free jazz sensibilities which extend the futuristic pulse of dub technologies.
The collective craft a visionary rhythmic continuum that tunes into living traditions stretching back to the ancient NOK civilisation, and reaches towards liberated futures. NCE foregrounds the diversity of black percussive music styles – from agbaja and apala, soca to bélé, sega, broken beat and beyond. In Wakili-Hick’s own words, they ‘celebrate percussion as a complete music’. Drawing on their own collective heritage – from Nigeria and Mauritius to St Kitt and the UK, the record platforms percussion ensembles as a vehicle for music making whilst centring afro-diasporic knowledge systems and cultures.