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Album Review

With her third offering in as many years, Georgia Anne Muldrow pulls a Madlib/Yesterday's New Quintet kind of move. Released under the pseudonym of Pattie Blingh & the Akebulan 5, Sagala appears to be a guise for multiple contributors. But just as Madlib's Yesterday's New Quintet is merely an alias for his solo jazz explorations, Pattie Blingh is Muldrow and the Akebulan Five is not her band or her background singers; they are her as well. As with Worthnothings and Olesi: Fragments of an Earth, Sagala finds Muldrow in do-it-yourself mode (even more so with this EP, distributed on her personal label, RAMP Recordings). Save for a verse from her beau and West Coast vet MC Declaime (aka Dudley Perkins), Muldrow writes every word, including the abstract meanderings of "The Clearing." She sings all the vocals, a feat for her songs which are almost always intricately layered in different pitches, octaves and tones ("Adante"). And she once again proves to be one of the most forward thinking and creative beatmakers and musicians, going with a fewer soul and hip-hop textures here and incorporating more overt funk and strands of psychedelic rock. She uses nothing but a Funkadelic bassline, eerie synth chords and hand claps to propel her confessional, "Fidelity: Do Right, Girl," which documents her battle with the pull of imperfect flesh. Muldrow's lyrics are always earnest and pensive and naked: this EP is no different. Though her former employer, Stones Throw, is far from a meddling major label, it seems that producing music for her own label has freed her even more. True, Sagala is less than 25 minutes of music, but it's a concentrated burst of inspiration. But whether it's her song structures (often hooks, repeated throughout the tune with no discernible verses) or the brevity or frequency of her releases, Muldrow's approach to the relationship between creator and consumer is very organic: some things are on her mind, she writes some songs about them, records them, and releases them: she doesn't gild the lily.

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Sagala, Pattie Blingh and the Akebulan Five
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