Blogtrotters

Showing posts with label r&b. Show all posts
Showing posts with label r&b. 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





Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ester Rada - Life Happens ЕP [2012] [israel / ethiopia]



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Ester Rada - Life Happens (Official Video)





       Ester Rada is an Israeli actress and singer.

      Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian’s heritage. Growing up in a highly religious Jewish family in more than modest conditions in Israel, gave Rada the drive to change her way of life and fulfill her dream of creating music.





      Ester recently released her debut album "Ester Rada", after releasing her acclaimed first self-written and composed solo EP called "Life Happens", which was produced by Israeli producers Kuti (Kutiman/Thru-You) and Sabbo (Soulico), at the beginning of 2013. 

      Rada gained worldwide popularity on a tour across Europe, the United States and Canada. She has recently performed at the Glastonbury Festival. She performed at the opening act of Alicia Keys' concert in Israel. Rada's music video "Life Happens" has been broadcast on MTV France, East Europe, and Israel, as well as on VH1 UK. Rada credits Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin as her musical influences, alongside Eryka Badu, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott.







         Rada started her acting career in musical theater, and won an award for her role in Habima Theatre's The Troupe. In 2007 she played a major role in the TV serial "Deus". In the same year she also acted in Habima's play Sdakim bebeton. Filmography and TV Appearances: Still Walking Zrubavel Kirot The Special. Yes's series New York.



    In the end of 2012 Ester Rada released an EP entitled "Life Happens" with four of her songs. The album was positively received by critics, who describe her music as "cross-cultural sound that is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian's heritage" and "graceful composition of Ethio-Jazz, funk, soul and r&b, with mixed undertones of black grooves"




1. Ester Rada - Life Happens (3:56)
2. Ester Rada - Monsters (4:53)
3. Ester Rada - Anything from you (4:52)
4. Ester Rada - Could it be (3:17)

         + BONUS TRACK   

5. Ester Rada - Life Happens (Shimi Sonic remix) (4:17)




Thursday, May 22, 2014

Aster Aweke - Kabu [1991] [ethiopia]




Aster Aweke - Tchewata


       This Ethiopian beauty's Aster and Kabu albums show why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.”

        There’s no mistaking Aster Aweke’s primary influences. Listen, for example, to her early ’90s albums Aster and Kabu, with their Memphis-style horn section, soulful keyboards and crackling drums, and it’s immediately apparent why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.” Lady Soul, along with the Godfather, James Brown, and vocally versatile jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, loom largely in her roots, her deep R&B/funk groove a reminder that bridges are meant to be crossed. Aweke doesn’t leave the traditional behind by any means; she respects it, she draws from it, but she’s never beholden to it.





       And then there’s that voice, as supple and mystifying an instrument as has ever been. Simultaneously tamed and wild, its flights of fancy are wondrous things. You can’t help but be awed.

      Aweke was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, some time between the late ’50s and 1961, depending on which account you believe. She grew up in the capital city of Addis Ababa and began singing as a teen, working with several groups, most notably the Roha Band. As Ethiopia entered a period of unrest following the death of iconic leader Haile Selassie, Aweke left for the United States. She became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community in the States, performing in restaurants and clubs, particularly in her adopted home of Washington, D.C., one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country.





    Aweke signed to the small Triple Earth label in 1989, and the two aforementioned albums were then picked up by Columbia Records, which had high hopes for her commercial potential in the West. The sales didn’t pan out but Aweke has continued to record and tour—her 1995 Live In London CD is an excellent primer that displays her charismatic appeal to the fullest.