Friday, November 19, 2010

CD Review: Akale Wube Reinvents Ethiopia's Golden Era

Akale Wube

After borrowing the name of the group from a song by saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya, the France-based quintet Akale Wube reinvents the golden age of Ethiopia's musical legends. Inspired by the Ethiopiques Series from Buda Musique, Akale Wube puts a modernized spin on songs by Alemayehu Eshete, Mulatu Astatqe, Tsehaytu Beraki, Shewalul Menguistu, and Teshome Sissay. The opening track "Ayalqem Tedengo [Intro]" includes a short flute solo before diving into a four-minute instrumental groove on the next track with the same name. One of the few tracks composed by the group, "Jawa Jawa" is a psychedelic-funk journey that sounds amazingly reminiscent of any song from the US/Cambodia group, Dengue Fever. The reggae-groove of "Kokob/Metche Dershe", funky-groove of "Nestanet", psych-chill of "Nebyat", to the sunnier "Bazay", and the fusion of "Ragale" display only a small fraction of the music produced in the 1970's throughout the horn of Africa. Akale Wube's efforts are well-received and they do the music justice without reverting to super-dubbed dance beats. Vocals are absent throughout. ~ Matthew Forss

No comments: