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A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus

A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus

A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus

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There’s a new dub in town and it’s sounding colossally great.

Sampler

A Town Called Addis by Dub ColossusEthiopia is of course reggae’s spiritual homeland, so any attempt to re-connect Jamaican riddims with an Ethiopian sensibility is going to be a noble effort at least. This CD is far greater than that. It’s a stunning, edifying combination of dub-drenched grooves, traditional Ethiopian sounds, towering walls of electronic texture and the sort of roots/jazz/soul/pop fusions we all know and love from the Ethiopiques series.

The mastermind behind it all is Dubulah, better known as Nick Page, a composer, guitarist, bassist and producer who was a founding member of Trans-Global Underground and, if this disc is any indication, remains a sonic experimenter of the highest order. Imagine Dub Syndicate merged with African Head Charge and transported to East Africa and you might get an idea of what this disc has in store. Or better yet, buy it and give a listen. You’ll soon be awash in militant drums and bass supporting cavernous constructions of twanging, echoing, almost orchestral music with Ethiopian instruments and voices seeping in and out of your reverie like spirits caught between worlds and loving it. Listen closer and you’ll pick up on other small thrills: subtle nyabinghi pulses; horns that wouldn’t be out of place on a Cedric Brooks album; moments where the underlying beat drops away and seems to leave the remaining sounds floating on air; dub touches straight out of the ‘70s; electric and acoustic instruments perfectly blended and so very much more.

Dub reggae is the primary building block, though on a few tracks like the gorgeously breathy “Neh Yelginete (My First Love)” it’s more of a jazz vibe carrying you off. But no matter what the feel, A Town Called Addis is brilliant, seamless fusion that reggae lovers, Ethiopian music fans, ethno-techno heads and global adventurers of every stripe will savor.

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