Thursday, April 7, 2011

CD Review: Mathieu Sourisseau & Etenesh Wassie

Belo Belo

Ethiopia's Etenesh Wassie and France's Mathieu Sourisseau form a collaboration of mostly Ethiopian-derived songs and traditional musical structures. Mathieu's contribution is on acoustic bass, while Etenesh's contribution is her voice. Of course, guest musicians provide additional musical accompaniment on trumpet, guitar, bass, and cello. This is not a rock or modern recording. Instead, the traditional vocal tunes of Ethiopia are explored with various avant-garde instrumental accompaniment. The fusion, or avant-garde feel of the album rests on the vocal outbursts of Etenesh and the gritty or choppy guitar playing. In effect, Belo Belo is almost an Ethiopian grunge recording with some throat-singing thrown in on "Ende Matew Style." The mix of soft and heavy tones accurately displays the wide vocal and instrumental range. At any rate, the music encapsulates the charm of a French cafe with the charisma of an innovative performer transcending both time and generations. Liner notes are in French and English. ~ Matthew Forss

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