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Black Liberation by Nu Flowah

Black Liberation by Nu Flowah

Black Liberation by Nu Flowah

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A striking debut album of musical and spiritual authenticity.

Sampler

Black Liberation by Nu Flowah

This debut album from London-based Nu Flowah opens with the gentle sound of ‘Bingi 1,2’ before taking us straight into ‘Hotta Fyah’, with its powerful image of fire in several senses: spiritual fire and rebirth on an individual level, alongside social and political upheaval. The track is driven along by an insistent electronic dub feel to the basic rhythm track. On a song like ‘How Could I?’ this moral approach again seems intended to apply on both the personal level and to a wider sense of retribution and justice. ‘21st Century Slave’ addresses slavery then and now, and the racial theme is encountered directly in the closing track ‘White Lie’ as well as on the title track itself. These are strong themes, predicated on the wickedness of Babylon but also on the hope of salvation. Musically, this is pure reggae with numerous influences throughout ranging from roots to dancehall. In contrast to the stark message of the words, the melodic quality of the songs is in many ways very traditional, drawing from the broad reggae heritage. On ‘One Life’ we can hear this clearly, a strong song in a classic reggae style, with a powerful message.

Although we all know that the phrases of Rastafari are nowadays dropped into reggae music by promoters and record companies just to sell the music, here the emphasis is different, and more authentic. The underlying themes of liberation and redemption, the guiding spiritual inspiration, and the overriding moral message are at the heart of this music. This is light years away from the misogyny and materialism of some contemporary output.

Even the release date reflects the guiding purpose, November 2nd being the anniversary of the coronation of Haile Selassie I. "I went to Ethiopia to uplift my spirit and to see the "manifestations" of His Majesty.... in order to bring the message forward, you have to return to where it all started" says Nu Flowah. The Ethiopian city of Addis Ababa means ‘New Flower’ in the Amharic language, and the message of Rastafari is present in all of these songs as well as in the spirit of the performer.

Released on his own label, Kingshighway Records, Nu Flowah also produced and arranged the album. Clearly it is a labour of love. This is the sound of Ethiopia, via London. As Nu Flowah says, this music is universal. So too is the message of liberation for all people within.

Tags: Nu Flowah

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