I love this tune. It’s a call to arms. To fight the fight we all must fight. The fight against darkness, against corruption. Against not crossing that line, no matter what. To stay true, not to ‘ourselves’, which is meaningless self help psychobabble, but to the truth. Doing the right thing even when it’s not expedient.
Approach is also a call to our leaders in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. To denounce corruption. To denounce bloodshed. To denounce fear. Because no matter who you are, no matter where, the truth usually does come looking to collect. And we all end up paying.
And above all to thine own self be true.
Musically, I love the feel of the first half of the track, and definitely took inspiration from British Nigerian master of ‘social funk’ Fela Kuti (Truth Don Die). I wanted the song to feel like a live event, with all the energy of a group of talented musicians in a sweaty nightclub just feeding off one another. I am not that talented, not by far, but that’s what I wanted to attempt. I especially liked how the different synth, guitar and vocal parts were brought in over time, and the Masai children chanting in the background was, for me, the best part.
The second half of the tune, has a deliberate change of style and tempo, to signify the journey we must take on our path to the truth that will eventually, we hope, free us. In the mid 90s, a couple of British blokes (as if there’s any other kind) came out of nowhere to drop a full length dance music record that essentially created, or at least expounded on several dance music genres all on the same record. Progressive House, Dub, Techno, Breaks, World, Ambient. It had it all. The album was Leftism (ha!) by the dynamic due of Barnes and Daley (Noble was in a different group). They went by Leftfield.
Leftism is widely regarded, by me at least, as one of the greatest bits of electronic music ever put on a plastic disc. I remember foolishly announcing to a dear and long suffering friend: some day I’ll make the next Leftism. That would’ve been foolish and redundant. But with the two tracks on this album, Approach and Wa’laah, I did find a happy medium. A little mini Leftism if you will. Approach was a pleasure to compose and produce, truly satisfying after much initial frustration and noodling. It was a journey well worth taking.
I love this song. I hope you do too.