Published Nov 08, 2018Swiss-Congolese producer Soraya Lutangu began making music to deal with the grief of losing her nephew, the namesake of her musical output: Bonaventure. Joining forces with the NON Worldwide community, an organization championing the work of artists in the African diaspora, she debuted with "Complexion," a riveting single that launched the formerly Berlin and now Lisbon-based producer into a singular sonic orbit. The tense and edgy Free Lutangu EP followed, intertwining the producer's powerful rhythms with potent samples to channel the themes of oppression and prejudice, both of which she has experienced directly.
Mentor finds Lutangu recording for Mike Paradinas's Planet Mu imprint, this time around focusing on a more optimistic psychological space Dedicated to those who inspire her and those she cares about, the EP emphasises the importance of knowledge-sharing and of encouraging others. The producer also wove her recent examinations of science fiction into the music, imbuing her splintered, rapturous beats with an oozing morphology in which the structures subtly dissolve. It's as if Lutangu's music has been infested by an alien mutation and is slowly becoming gelatinous.
"Physarum" evokes a many-headed slime mould that somehow exhibits traits that can be deemed intelligent. It slides in on a cacophony of mutated beats and vocals before a melodic synth line and juicy pads appear. The eponymous "Mentor" is far more arresting, with a martial drum line that attempts to tie the music to a semi-rigid structure that wants to wobble.
"Colony" and "Both" feature guest vocalists; the former is a deep bass rumbler that will fry brain cells and the latter fuses a robotic mantra to a bubbly synth outro. Closing out the record, the dichotomy of moods presented serves to tie the thematic elements of Mentor into a neat gift for Lugangu's audience to digest and appreciate. (Planet Mu)