Showing posts with label post punk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label post punk. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Invisible System - Street Clan [2011] [eng]

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Invisible System - Street Clan

       Invisible System return with another highly original eclectic fusion album. Following their internationally acclaimed and Songlines World Music Awards Best Newcomer Nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan is named after some graffiti Dan Harper found in Mali, West Africa. It is again not a pure world music album. It covers genres such as rock, dance, drum and bass, dub, reggae, Ethiopian, post-punk, kraut rock, pop, psychedelia and even this time r'n'b and dubstep.

      17 tracks take you through a real journey of shockingly original pulsating sounds that tie to Punt but sound more accomplished and distinctive in style. The album was again recorded between Ethiopia, Mali and the UK whilst Dan Harper was aid working, with the mixing finished in country. Many known guests again feature on this album including Portishead's Adrian Utley and Skip McDonald (African Head Charge, The Sugar Hill Gang, Tackhead and Little Axe.

          It’s impossible not to admire Dan Harper. Until five years ago, he was an aid worker in Ethiopia, where he not only became fascinated by the country’s remarkable music scene but built his own studio in Addis Ababa and managed to persuade leading local artists to record with him. He also invited producer and bassist Nick Page, also known as Count Dubulah, out to Ethiopia and introduced him to his musical friends; as a result, Page formed his highly successful Ethiopian fusion band Dub Colossus.

     Once he returned to England, where he now works as an unconventional music teacher in the West Country, Harper continued work on a fusion project of his own. He persuaded an impressive selection of British musicians to add their contributions to his Ethiopian recordings, and the result was the album Punt, credited to a band Harper called Invisible System. It included a remarkable cast, from the legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed through to punk hero Captain Sensible, guitarist Justin Adams and Count Dubulah; the results veered from African styles to psychedelic rock, trip-hop and dub. Although this was originally something of an obscure DIY release, Harper managed to bring his work to national attention, and won impressive reviews.

        Since then, the two Ethiopian fusion experiments have continued. Dub Colossus, now a rousing live band rather than merely a studio project, have a new album of Ethio-jazz and reggae fusions, Addis Through the Looking Glass, while Invisible System have a very different second set, Street Clan.

         Once again, the album is based around recordings that Harper made in Africa – this time in Mali as well as Ethiopia – to which he adds his own guitar, bass, synth programming, percussion and production work. Then there are contributions from a new set of Western musicians, including the great American guitarist Skip McDonald, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Stuart Fisher (who has worked with Courtney Love), and members of psychedelic hippie heroes Ozric Tentacles. Then there’s Jamaican singer Dennis Wint, who Harper met in the Somerset town of Frome, where he lives and works.

        Street Clan is even more wild, frantic and unexpected than Punt, with sections that work brilliantly and tracks where Ethiopian vocals are surrounded by a blitz of thrash guitar and percussion, results ranging from exhilarating to messy. The best tracks come towards the end, where the emphasis shifts from the clash of African vocals with full-tilt Western guitars, through to more conventional dub reggae. There’s still an African edge to Teenage Lion and Broken Heart, thanks to the vocal work from Zewditu Tadesse; but Wint dominates the songs with an energy and style that makes him sound like an unlikely male answer to early Patti Smith.

      There's a huge sea change between Invisible System's debut and this sophomore outing. Where the first was definitely based around Ethiopian music, this is a much more amorphous and adventurous beast. If it needs to be defined, it's a rock -- maybe even post-rock -- album. Ethiopia is still there, and some of the music was recorded in Addis Ababa. But many of the sounds were made in England using a truly staggering range of musicians, and there's a powerful Jamaican influence at work here, too. If you need an analogy, think of the work of Adrian Sherwood, or even some PiL (in fact, "Mutant Miners" sounds like it could be have been smuggled off some fantastical PiL album). This is world music in the sense that it was made by people from different parts of the globe coming together, but its roots are in the here and now rather than in any tradition. It's challenging, adventurous, and heavily textured; the tracks were recorded live and later chopped up and mixed, although you'd never notice the joints. It might prove to be one of the finds of 2011, a real sonic adventure that speaks highly of Dan Harper, the man behind it all.

review by Chris Nickson

01 Tizita (feat. Portishead Adrian Utley, Ethiopiques)                                                       4:01  
02 Ambassel (feat. Mimi + band (after signed as Dub Colossus also))                          5:25
03 Zedanmer (feat. Eat Static, Ethiopiques)                                                       4:38
04 Bone Flaps (feat. Merv Pepler and Los Mutartis + Ethiopiques)                                3:51
05 Backyard (feat. Skip McDonald (On U Sound, LIttle Axe, Sugar Hill Gang), Dennis… 4:47
06 Skunk Funk (feat. The Ullulators)                                                                                     4:30
07 Opidervtu (feat. Eat Static, Ethiopiques)                                                                       4:26
08 Womens Love (feat. Ozric Tentacles, Rythmites, Ethiopiques, Sydney Salmon)   6:15
09 Mutant Miners (feat. Merv Pepler, Los Mutartis, Ethiopiques)               6:08
10 Live Up To Love (feat. Hilaire Chabby (Baba Maal), Dennis Wint, Ethiopiques)     3:15
11 Men Dont Cry (feat. Eat Static, Dennis Wint, Ethiopqiues)                                       2:46
12 Oumabetty (feat. Jonny / Akrilu (Mamoud Ahmed))                                                   3:13
13 Teenage Lion (feat. Ryhthmites Flash, Ethiopques,)                                               6:08
14 Broken Heart (feat. Dennis Wint, Leyikun Ethiopia)                                               3:33
15 Katabo (feat. Merv Pepler, Dennis Wint)                                                               3:45
16 Naturalisation (feat. Dennis Wint, Joie Hinton)                                                       7:57
17 Rapture (feat. Merv Pepler, Dennis Wint)                                                               3:20

Monday, April 4, 2016

Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex - Live At The Rio Loco [Toulouse, France, 17/6/11] [2011] VIDEO

   V I D E O   

the great ethiopian saxophonist 
Getatchew Mekuria 
died today, on the april 4th 2016, 
at the age of 81

MARCH 14, 1935 - APRIL 4, 2016

Getatchew passed away today. At the age of 81 and after a musical career of 68 years. He was a truely unique saxophone player. Born in the countryside of Ethiopia, he heard the saxophone on the radio at the age of 13 and went to Addis Abeba straight away. He wanted to play saxophone! And soon after that he got himself into the Municipality Band. Later he played in the Haile Selassie Orchestra's, the National Theatre Orchestra and more.
Since 2004 he played regularly with The Ex. It was his choice after hearing us at one of our festivals. He recognized something in our music which reminded him of the early groups he was in, like the Fetan Band (Speed Band). He loved playing with us and for us it was also an incredible experience. He was always totally himself, full-on intense and dedicated. We played more than 100 concerts and made two beautiful albums together.
The last few years, his health was not very good. He couldn't really go on tour anymore. As a kind of farewell concert for his fans, we organized a big event in the National Theatre in Addis Abeba. He got lots of attention and respect that night: 1500 people in the audience, three TV stations and a legendary concert. Getatchew was playing while sitting on a chair, but his playing was stronger than ever.
His whole life was music. With his unique sound and approach he leaves behind an eternal inspiration!

We will miss him.

The Ex & Friends

Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex

       Getatchew Mekuria is the most revered veteran of the Ethiopian saxophone -  a physical and musical giant whose “Negus of Ethiopian Sax”  album featured in the acclaimed “Ethiopiques” reissue series. Now 76 years old, he has collaborated with all the great Ethiopian singers over the years and is still in full voice with his own, powerfully distinctive style of playing. His huge vibrato, both forceful and fragile, plays around the vocal lines, using typical Ethiopian embellishments. He dons a lion’s mane when he plays and cuts loose with furious solos that come over like a kind of free jazz from before free jazz existed.

     Since 1979, Amsterdam’s The Ex have consistently pushed the envelope, plotting a restless course from their anarchist punk origins to embrace everything sound could throw at them. Their thrillingly raw and rhythmic rock sound is born from their ideals, musical friendships/networks and work ethic. They are one of the most visceral rock units in action today.

     Ever hungry to place themselves in unfamiliar contexts, The Ex toured Ethiopia twice and fell in love with its music, which led to them inviting Getatchew to perform at their 25th anniversary party in Holland. His contribution to proceedings blasted everyone off stage, and, suitably inspired, The Ex invited him on tour with them, their incendiary live collaboration bearing fruits in a blistering album released on the band’s Terp Records imprint in 2006.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Getatchew Mekuria - 4 video clips [ethiopia]

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1. Getatchew Mekuria - intro the convoy tour dvd (4:13)
2. Getatchew Mekuria - the ex & getatchew mekuria (7:06)
3. Getatchew Mekuria - the ex & han bennink in ziway, ethiopia (5:47)
4. Getatchew Mekuria - the ex at lincoln center, part 1 (3:55)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trio Kazanchis - Amaratch Musica [2012]

        The Trio Kazanchis manages to produce a hi-energy mix which finds it's roots in ethiopian groove, having traditional melodies and songs as a starting point. However they can as easily follow a melodic line and traditional rhythm as drop it and letting the dynamics of the moment decide. 

      Improvisation, a hardly known angle in traditional Ethiopian music, plays a substantial part. The sometimes Hendrix like krar mixes great with the pure farfisa sound, Wyatt resonant, and Fabien's forward drumming style. 

        These three musicians already succesfully explored their common musical interests on stage in January 2009 in Addis. 

1. Trio Kazanchis - Nanu nanu ney (7:47)
2. Trio Kazanchis - Hay loga (3:41)
3. Trio Kazanchis - Bertukane (4:16)
4. Trio Kazanchis - Ayne hulgize yesasaleshal (5:15)
5. Trio Kazanchis - Ende eyerusalem (5:10)
6. Trio Kazanchis - Rumba amhara tche belew (6:39)
7. Trio Kazanchis - Qeddus mekina (6:13)
8. Trio Kazanchis - Etetu beredegn (8:40)


Jeroen Visser   (vocals, baritone saxophone, 
farfisa, organ)

Fabien Duscombs    (vocals, drums)
Mèssèlè Asmamaw   (krar, vocals)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Ex - Ethiopia Tour 2004 [with Han Bennink]

         Formed in 1979, The Ex has developed over the years into a melting-pot of diverse musical styles: noise, rock, jazz, improvisation, and ethnic musics have been interweaved under one unique umbrella: “Ex-music”. Discordant, highly rhythmic guitars, the rolling, almost African drumming style, and the intense delivery of the often ironic lyrics give the music of The Ex its special character.

       So far, in almost 30 years, The Ex has played 1371 concerts all over Europe, North America and Africa, and released over 20 albums. Never pigeon-holed into one of pop music’s corny corners, The Ex is continuously in development, and always open for new ideas and collaborations with people of all kinds, people whose spirit inspires and appeals to the group. 

       The main principle remains; to make music with heart and soul, out of reach of commercial trends or expectations. The consequent independent approach of the group and the manner in which they organize their concerts and release and distribute their records themselves, has set a significant example for the alternative music circuit.

1. The Ex - Mesak Esekalhu [Tilahun Gessesse] (5:19)
2. The Ex - Eayu Leyu (6:07)
3. The Ex - Tezeta (6:50)
4. The Ex - Belomi Benna (4:25)
5. The Ex - Goben (7:08)
6. The Ex - Dink Naw (3:28)
7. The Ex - Laley Guma [Aha Begena] (7:41)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Trio Kazanchis - Live [Ethio Event 20.11.2009 at the OCCII] [2009] [ned+eth]

          Ethiopian groove and roots with a European improv/punk touch. This powerful trio features Mèssèlè Asmamaw and his suave voice and funky, Hendrix-style krar (traditional Ethiopian lyre), the acknowledged drummer Fabien Duscombs of Le Tigre (des Platanes) fame, and the multi-instrumentalist Jeroen Visser, who hails from the Dutch punk scene of the 1980s.

        The Trio Kazanchis manages to produce a hi-energy mix which finds it's roots in ethiopian groove, having traditional melodies and songs as a starting point. However they can as easily follow a melodic line and traditional rhythm as drop it and letting the dynamics of the moment decide. Improvisation, a hardly known angle in traditional Ethiopian music, plays a substantial part. The sometimes Hendrix like krar mixes great with the pure farfisa sound, Wyatt resonant, and Fabien's forward drumming style. 

       After the compilation of the album Ethiopiques by Frances Falceto which helped bind Ethiopian music of the 50’s and 60’s together, bands comprising a mix of Ethiopian and foreigner musicians have become common, over the last ten years.

       These bands have one or two foreigners as band members, and do their music by fusing Ethiopian songs and beats.

      Akale Wube, a French band, for instance, plays Ethiopian music by fusing it with different sounds. 

        Jazzmaries (a blend of Jazz and Azmaries), and Ukandanz play songs with only the vocal being Ethiopian. 

       Kazanchis band which also fuses Ethiopian music with different sounds and foreign instruments falls in that category. 

       Fusing old Ethiopian music with funk and rock, they label their music as ‘Ethiopian traditional Impro punk’ giving alternative style for Ethiopian songs such as Muluken Melesse’s famous song ‘Nanu Nanu Ney’ and songs like ‘Etutu Beredegn.

   Touring Ethiopia between January 6 and 25 2011., the trio presented their performance at various venues such as Guramyle, Fendika, and Alliance Ethio-Franciase, in Addis Ababa, including in Nazareth and Awassa. They are also scheduled to perform in different cities of the country.

    The band was established in 2009. by Mesele and Jeroen. They were joined later by Fabien to form the band Kazanchis with their first gig as a band in Kazanchis.

    The band, based in Switzerland, has performed on international stages, including France, Holland, Belgium, Prague, and the Check Republic. They also took part in different festivals. 

   When they first started, three of them came up with their individual collection and did their own recordings. They also researched on how they should play, according to Mesele.

   “Even if they knew the music it was a bit difficult to internalize. But playing Ethiopian music before establishing this band wasn’t difficult to catch up,” explains Messele.

         Messele says the kirar, the traditional music instrument gave their music a unique sound and says proudly that the feedback so far has been a blessing in a short period of time.  

       On the band’s performance outside Addis, Messele had his own reservations when it comes to the response they received from the audience, especially Awassa and Nazareth, where the band received acclamation.

         He said he found the response unexpected. “Sometimes, there is an assumption on the understanding of the music. Addis has exposure for these kinds of fusions but I had my doubts when it comes to the other cities but it was unexpected for us,” Messele said.

        Whenever they play on the stage, Mesele and his partners improvise the music, experiment with different songs and, create new sounds and give flavor to the old Ethiopian music.

    “Improvising on the stage is not easy. There should be a clear understanding on what’s going on, and I think we have that understanding. So it’s easy to do what we want and we were able to not to repeat what we played yesterday,” comments Mesele.

       Mesele says the band is promoting Ethiopian music internationally and also reviving the lost sounds of Ethiopian music to the younger generation.

     With encouraging feedback from music lovers so far, Messele sees a good prospect for the band in the future.

    “The feedback has been really great and we are asked to play in different countries like Turkey, Spain and Portugal. So we will see how it goes,” Messele said.


Jeroen Visser   (vocals, baritone saxophone, 
farfisa, organ)

Fabien Duscombs    (vocals, drums)
Mèssèlè Asmamaw   (krar, vocals)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Invisible System - Punt [Made in Ethiopia] [2009]

                                                    R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   

       Invisible System is the pseudonym for the UK & Africa producer Dan Harper whose music is an eclectic fusion of Ethiopian, dub, reggae, techno, trance, drum and bass, jungle, acid, psychedelic, folk, post-punk, goth and rock.

       Traditional vocals & instruments meet the modern, electronic and brass. Recorded in Ethiopia.  Live Europeans meet live Ethiopians! 

       The songs were improvised, from scratch - all instruments and vocals. Improvisation was a largely new concept to most of the Ethiopian counterparts (previously told what or how to play or sing). Dan just went from go with your feelings and express them as Dan had done. The results were stunning both for them and for us. We are not into using Ethiopian (or Malian) samples or trying to quickly learn and imitate Ethiopian musicians who have their sounds, modes, scales, feelings and soul from their culture and country else we would be the neo-colonialists. We are into sharing, learning and exchange over time.

       Dan spent 3 years in Addis Ababa not 3 weeks, living, working and existing there. Aid working all around the country, producing music based in Addis. He Met people from all walks of life. The music is based on real life experience not from reading. It is played from the heart and soul of everyone involved. Their own interpretation thus tapping the ebbs and flows of our lives.

Hear What the Critics Have to Say!

---‘sturdy Ethiopian vocals are matched against backing that veers from wailing psychedelic rock to trance, trip-hop and dub, it's an impressive achievement.’  - The Guardian, Robin Denselow
'New rave goes global. The rave crowd may love such deranged energy.' - Uncut, Nigel Williamson

---‘you can imagine this becoming a mind blowing rave classic, pushing the envelope
 beyond Ethiopqiues nostalgia.’ - MOJO, David Hutchenson

---’there's a pleasing headiness to its rough charm’ - The Independent, Andy Gill

---‘a startlingly original combination of Ethiopian roots and pop with dub, electronica and psychedelic rock’ - fRoots, Jamie Renton

---‘this wonderfully strange and slightly otherworldly album’ refuses resolutely to be pigeon holed. One of the most startlingly original musical adventures of the year giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘fusion music’. - R2 / rock N Reel, Dave Haslam

---‘like an exotic mythology flung into outer space‘ - World Music Network, TJ Nelson

---‘It’s an album that, to its credit, solidly defies easy description.  It needs to be heard several times and each reveals a new delight’ -, Chris Nickson

---‘Each time you hear the songs, you hear something different as this will be the longevity of this world class fusion CD’ -, Los Angeles

---'I encourage everyone to check it out, but not try to capture it..just feel it.' - Max Benkole Jarrett, BBC World Service

---‘Brings together a fine mix of musicians to create a festive-sounding album recorded in Ethiopia’ – New Internationalist