Ibeyi, made up of Cuban-born, Paris-based twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, is an electronic doom soul duo who are forging a new spiritual sound with their debut EP Oya. The 19-year-old musicians are XL Recordings‘ newest signees, and their introductory singles “Oya” and “River” possess a hypnotic blend of hip-hop, electronica, and blues infused with Yoruba prayers and folk songs that will transport you to a higher realm upon first listen.
Singing in French, English, Spanish and Yoruba, Ibeyi count among their primary influences Nina Simone, Meshell Ndegeocello, James Blake and their late father, the celebrated Cuban jazz percussionist Miguel “Anga” Diaz. Ibeyi’s vocal range, which wavers from the raspy and wraith-like to the sonorous and divine, is ideal for their sonic palette which revels in the phantasmagorical groove of liturgical Yoruba songs. Besides singing in Yoruba–which was brought to Cuba by West African slaves–Ibeyi honor their father’s legacy and Afro-Cuban heritage through their percussive production and use of live instruments. Beatsmith Naomi plays both the cajón and the batá while Lisa-Kaindé remains more in tune with the musical mythos of Ibeyi’s sound by weaving Yoruba lore deeply into their lyrics. “River” is dedicated to the goddess Oshun (the mother of the Ibeyi, and their first single and EP are both named for Oya (the benevolent orisha who took the Ibeyi in after Oshun was accused of witchcraft for birthing twins and kicked them out).
Another spotted trend in motion design is the usage of a remarkable thin line, used as an outline of simple shapes, and as extra decoration lines. Sometimes the outline is a little bit shifted from its fill shape. Most of the time the design in this style contains a single stroke, non-scalable line weight.
The lines are often animated as if they are drawn: growing and then shrinking again, changing in other lines.
This single thin line usage gives the animations a clean, modest and elegant style. If used a sketchy, hand drawn like line, it creates a handicraft feeling, while using a straight vector line can suggest a more iconic, businesslike style.
Influences may come from icon systems that used already a non-scalable line weight to provide consistency.
Also you could compare this style a bit with the illustrations of modernist Charley Harper, who also used thin lines and geometric shapes. And because of these lines and shapes, in a way it also has some comparison with the ’50 style cartoon modern.
Watching Embrace burn Friday morning at Burning Man 2014 was one of the most powerful experiences I had on the playa. This image is my best attempt to capture that moment, as thousands of people witnessed the hard work and dreams of so many ignite in a blaze of glory. It was a moment in time I never want to forget and now I can relive the experience each time I view this image.
I have deep respect for Matthew Shultz, the creator of Embrace, and the amazing Pier group for their years of hard work, creativity, and the unreasonable determination and committed vision it took to make this a reality. Thank you for inspiring all of us.