Maribou State album review // Kingdoms In Colour


Photography by Alexandra Waespi | Provided by Ninja Tune

Every morning, as usual, I start my computer and launch my most frequented Apps for the day. Spotify’s home page opened with their suggested album banner on the main page. Maybe it was the shade of Purist Blue on the album artwork that caught my attention, or the catchy album title, or maybe I was just having one of those days where I felt like trying something new – either way, it trapped me. I never click on Spotify’s suggested albums – I’m not sure why, maybe they usually aren’t my taste, but this time I clicked.


This is the first album I’ve listened to by Maribou State, and honestly, the first time I had heard of the band – I imagine because I’m from the States and they are from the UK, but I’m so glad their creations have flown into my ear holes. I can confidently say that their album, Kingdoms In Colour, is the best musical experience I have gained in the year of 2018.


With a release date of September 7, 2018 it didn’t take long for me to keep this album on repeat. This album is an adventure. An intricate reminder of how it feels to hear a song for the first time, knowing that I’m about to really enjoy it – hearing a new obsession, “uh oh”. Getting a first crush.

Photography by Alexandra Waespi | Provided by Ninja Tune

Musicians Chris Davids and Liam Ivory birthed the creation of this album providing us with a wild combination of worldly-culture vibes and collaborations that were meant-to-be. The musicians created a product that is atmospheric and time traveling in a way, with influences from (what I guess to be) Asia (Beginner’s Luck), the 90s’ and Africa (Kingdom) surfy and futuristic (Turnmills) and modern day. These are my own interpretations from the tracks, and everyone will feel differently, but that’s what is so great about the experience. I wouldn’t describe this album as traditional “instrumental”, but the album is light on the lyrics and strong on the feels. The worldly feel of Kingdoms In Colour give the sounds some instant history and almost predates it, while the electronic futurist vibes modernize the sounds.


I feel like I’m in a mega music video while this album plays. One moment I see myself in a Tron-like environment running quickly in an action-packed scene, then I am in the Sahara Desert riding camel-back and surrounded by lovely exotic smells, and then I’m on a life-changing journey as a young adult in Asia somewhere finding my life’s purpose. My brain is ridiculous, I know. But I guess that is what’s so great about music. It really can transport you like nothing else.


I guess my brain isn’t so ridiculous. After writing the previous paragraphs and researching into the inspiration behind the album, Spotify told me that “After more than a year of touring they returned to the UK to begin work on new material but relocating their studio from The Shack - their home-built studio at the back of Liam’s garden in Hertfordshire - to a new base in London found them struggling to find their creative flow. The solution was to start looking outward and back over their journey of the past two years. They began making regular excursions out of the city, setting up a temporary studio space for weeks at a time, they started to piece together a “sonic collage” - drawing on ideas that were written while touring in places like India, and on field recordings from Asia, Australia, Morocco, America and beyond - the result of which is the stunning “Kingdoms In Colour”. (*Spotify’s bio on Maribou State)


Although the band’s genre reads as Dance/Electronic, this entire album makes me want to do the opposite of what that genre typically makes me feel, instead I want to stay home and do some major soul-searching. Maribou State no doubt uses electronic instruments (who doesn’t nowadays), but these creations are not like others within the same realm, in my opinion. These tracks are symphonic. I feel like a hypocrite, I have always said I don’t like electronic music. Even the comme