Thursday, July 3, 2008

Getatchew Mekuria, the Ex, and Guests- Moa Anbessa

Ethio-punk? I was pretty skeptical when this cd got handed to me, but it came with a strong thumbs up from a reliable source. The Ex team up with an Ethiopian saxophonist? Sounds like the anarchist Graceland to me. I have also slept on the whole African/Ethiopique renaissance of music and rereleases, so I didn't have a good frame of reference outside of what I would here on college radio. But skeptical or not, you gotta let the music do the talking.
11 tracks some(5 or 6) with vocals. It is a pretty amazing combination. The Ex chug along and bash out some solid work that meshes well with the horns. Surprisingly well.
Several of the tracks are well known Ethiopian classics that the Ex reworked and added vocals to. The whole adding vocals thing is another can of worms that was more likely to go wrong than right, but even this is done well. I think the horns and more traditional songs kept the Ex coloring inside the lines more than they might usually. Some songs have almost a Morphine or Tom Waits sound to them.
I am looking forward to seeing the documentary about this as apparently the whole collaboration took place with little common language between the musicians.

And as if all this isn't enough they are on tour and playing the Middle East on 08/15.Check it.

This kind of makes me wonder what would come out of a Fugazi/Trouble Funk collaboration or something......

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