Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CD Review: Zvuloon Dub System's 'Anbessa Dub'

Zvuloon Dub System
Anbessa Dub

The Tel-Aviv-based reggae/Ethiopian jazz group, Zvuloon Dub System, seamlessly merges two unique musical styles together to form a danceable and very likable beat. The group infuses reggae beats on several tracks with a little Amharic to mix it up just a little bit. Roots reggae, jazz, and East African soul explains what is going on here. The moving beats and diverse vocals attract equally-great instrumental portions that are like little morsels of delicious candy. There are traditional reggae instruments, including the piano, organ, guitars, bass, drums, sax, trumpet, and trombone, along with Ethiopian krar (a plucked harp) and a masinko (a type of small fiddle). Mahmoud Ahmed is a featured and well-known performer here, but Zemene Melesse, Yaacov Lilay, and Shay Sattaman Jacovi add vocals, too. Otherwise, Gili Yalo is the lead vocalist. The East African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean influences are evident and pervasive, but everything is used in moderation. Anyone seeking reggae beats via Israel, Ethiopia, and beyond will have fun with Anbessa Dub. ~ Matthew Forss

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