Debo Band is not about Afro-funk revival, recreating some mythical gilded age of Ethiopian pop. Taking cues from vintage and contemporary artists unsung in the West, they unleash rolling grooves, serpentine melody lines, and urgently joyful vocals….
That’s from the PR pitch for the nine-city U.S. tour that Debo Band kicks off in their home city of Boston on July 27. While Debo Band may not be an “Afro-funk revival” band, they tear it up like a blast from the ’70s heyday of Ethiopian funk with a difference. They’re adding as much as they’re reviving, bringing in a bit of klezmer, avant-garde jazz and rock that highlights their origin in Boston and the diverse backgrounds and musical tastes of the bandmembers.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE
- INTERVIEW OF DANNY MEKONNEN — first week in August
- CONCERT REVIEW — Debo band will be hitting my home turf on August 6 when the play at Sweet’s Ballroom in Oakland and I’ll be there to see if the live show is as hot as their EP FLAMINgoh (Pink Bird Dawn), four tracks from their 2010 African tour.
Gotta let everyone know about sahelsounds.com , a great source of info. and music from the Sahel region of West Africa. Lots of cool stuff and intelligent observations but the post on cellphone music was what caught my interest most of all:
This little cassette of music collected from cellphones has been in internet circulation lately (update — and the Guardian UK). Pitchfork did a nice write-up on the phenomena of “musical scarcity”, Rupture at Mudd Up! has given it some blog/radio play, and Portland’s ownGulls put together this remix of one of the tracks:
Niger Autotune (Emsitka) — Gulls Edit
(for the rest…)
Excellent article by Ted Swedenburg on Khaled and rai — debunks prevalent misconceptions about both. Brilliant! Check out Ted’s HawgBlawg — well worth the time.
Cheb Khaled, the Algerian rai singer who is probably the best-known Arabic singer on the planet, was selected this summer as one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices. Banning Eyre, a regular commentator on World Music on NPR and producer for Afropop Worldwide who has worked tirelessly to promote music from Africa, including the Maghreb, introduced Khaled to the NPR audience. Unfortunately, his introduction of Khaled repeated several unfortunate and misleading myths about rai music. Eyre presents a picture of an exceptional artist who favors tolerance and peace, and whose courageous positions have angered many Muslims and forced him to take refuge in the West. Eyre depicts Khaled as well as a kind of “bad boy,” in the image of a U.S. rock’n'roller. Khaled, from “a land [Algeria] torn apart by intolerance and violence,” says Eyre, “stood out as an artist who embraced openness and peace.” The real story of Khaled is more interesting, one rooted in Algerian politics and in its large and vibrant musical scene.
via Khaled and the myth of rai (Ted Swedenburg @ The Middle East Channel)