Sunday, 17 May 2009
INVISIBLE SYSTEM : PUNT – made in Ethiopia It is a very exciting and original project with an incredible story behind its making. It origins and aims are much wider than the music. Sales Notes, New Album: Invisible System present a 12 track fusion album of Ethiopian, Dub, Dance, Rock, Drum & Bass, Psychedelia, Trance, Electronica & live music. Traditional vocals / instruments meet the modern, electronic and brass. Live Europeans meet live Ethiopians. Our guests include: Mamoud Ahmed & Bahta Gebrehiwot (Ethiopiques) Hilaire Shabby (Baba Maal) Justin Adams (Robert Plant & Strange Sensation, ex Jah Wobble's Invaders) Tsedenia, Mimi, Tarmeg & Sami (Ethiopians since this album signed to Realworld Records) Joie Hinton (ex-Eat Static & Ozric Tentacles / Here and Now / IGV) Martin Cradick (Baka Beyond/ex-Outback) Captain Sensible (The Damned) Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles / Noden Inctus) Simon Hinkler (ex-The Mission) Dubulah (ex-Transglobal Underground, Temple of Sound, Natasha Atlas etc) Perch (Zion Train) Juldeh (Justin Adams, Realworld etc) Elmer Thudd (ex-Loop Guru) Gary Woodhouse (The Rhythmites) Bos (ex-Junk Waffle and Warp Graf/Eat Static Artist) Artist Profile: Invisible System is the brain child of Dan Harper who spent 8 years aid working in Mali and Ethiopia, producing music in-between. He has co-written, sound engineered, loaned his singers and musicians to and played on A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus on Realworld Records, an album that followed the recording of this album, PUNT Made in Ethiopia. Dub Colossus was made with Nick Page / Dubulah from Transglobal Underground/Temple of Sound/Natasha Atlas etc. One of the tracks Dan co-wrote and played on/engineered was also featured on the CD & DVD from the BBC series Long Way Down (Ewan McGregor and his friend traveling through Africa on motorbikes, including Ethiopia). Realworld took on the album post Dan inviting Nick Page/Dubulah to come and stay at his house and studio in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where they recorded the album in Dan’s Worm Hole Studios (the studio Dan built that follows him around the world changing form as to where it is based e.g. a third world country or Frome in Somerset). Worm Hole’s equipment can be setup around scarce resources such as in an outhouse with corrugated iron roofing (interesting in the rainy season), carpets and breeze blocks. It is also now constructed in a more solid form in Frome, Somerset whilst maintaining it’s DIY, nomadic and professional feel and look. Dan introduced Nick Page/Dubulah to the musicians and friends he had met and worked with whilst living in Addis for 3 years who also feature on this album Punt, as do many other Ethiopian musicians including their main star and BBC3 World Music Award Winner Mamoud Ahmed of the Ethiopique series. Invisible System played at the Ethiopian Music Festival, Addis Ababa last year and plan to do the same in 2009 if funding comes back around. We also hope to play some festivals such as Womad if it comes together and visas etc are sorted and we secure booking. Also we have been playing live in the UK with Dennis Wint (Jamaican born singer from the UK reggae band The Rhythmites) on vocals. We played last year using this line up on the main stage, Endorset Festival as well as supporting Dreadzone with Dennis on vocals. Merv Pepler from Eat Static / Ozric Tentacles was due to join us for that gig on drums but was ill so we hope to attempt that again this year. We are talking about supporting Zion Train, The Ozric Tentacles etc as well as playing independently at some festivals and venues at present. Reviews: A recent review wrote : http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/18360 Posted on Tuesday 20 May 2008 - 06:27 Congratulations to the organizers of the 7th Ethiopian Music Festival, which was a resounding success and brought great sounds to Addis Abeba. The only show I caught, due to overload, was Dan Harper. His work is astounding, bringing together house/techno beats both slow and fast with beautiful Ethiopian singers singing traditional songs and melodies to ride over his beats. World fusion taken to another level and maybe another musical revolution in the making? Definitely a memorable night. More reviews to come as they are written The album is a welcome outcome from years of aid work and the frustrations that come with it. The lack of support for artists and musicians in this world lead to Dan establishing not only Harper Diabate Records and Harper Diabate Ribbon & Valve Microphones but also a charitable arm of the company in an attempt to continue his aid work but aimed at artists and in a less resource wasteful manner. The amount of time and resources used by the aid organization he worked for to fly people around the world to workshops that amount to very little, government lead thought and policy, constant bureaucracy and lack of being out there making a difference was just shocking, disappointing and impossible to combat or change. A contract signed to be out developing volunteer placements and making a difference turned into yet another desk based paper work job getting no-where full of myopia from London and senior management, with outrageous bullying of Ethiopian and programme staff left right and centre. The albums were improvised, from scratch - all instruments and vocals. Improvisation was a largely new concept to most of the Ethiopian counterparts (previously told what or how to play or sing). Dan just went from go with your feelings and express them as Dan had done. The results were stunning both for them and for us. We are not into using Ethiopian (or Malian) samples or trying to quickly learn and imitate Ethiopian musicians who have their sounds, modes, scales, feelings and soul from their culture and country else we would be the neo-colonialists. We are into sharing, learning and exchange over time. As well as the next Ethiopian fusion album with guests for release this year we have another release with Dennis Wint, singer from the UK reggae band The Rhythmites on vocals. We are playing out live so look out for us at clubs and festivals and check the websites for info. We have been playing the Endorset Festival main stage and with Dreadzone to date. Another purely traditional Ethiopian album is also due for release, a second Ethiopian fusion album is on our hard drive (more upbeat), alongside a remix album featuring e.g. Baka Beyond, Zion Train, Jesus Jones, Inverse Gravity Vehicle (Joie Hinton of Eat Static / Ozric Tentacles), Ozric Tentacles, Power Steppers (Molara & Colin ex-Zion Train) etc. Dan spent 3 years in Addis Ababa not 3 weeks, living, working and existing there. Aid working all around the country, producing music based in Addis. He Met people from all walks of life. The music is based on real life experience not from reading. It is played from the heart and soul of everyone involved. Their own interpretation thus tapping the ebbs and flows of our lives. Label Profile: Harper Diabate Records was started in 2008 following the creation of Harper Diabate Microphones in 2007. The label is based in the creative town of Frome, Somerset with founded links to Ethiopia and Mali, Africa. Our aims are to bring innovative, original, underground world, rock, psychedelic, funk, electronic, rnb, trance, drum and bass, dance, dub fusion music with a message consciousness and positive energy to the world whilst being full on in force and amplitude. We also work in international development and the founder has been very involved in African aid work spending 4 years in Mali and 4 years in Ethiopia. We have a charity / social enterprise arm for this work to continue. We work towards musical and cultural exchanges between our countries of residence. Harper Diabate, 1 River Walk, Frome, Somerset, BA11 5HU firstname.lastname@example.org : www.myspace.com/invisiblesystem (there are also invisible system and harper diabate groups also on www.facebook.com) http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=40729859663 Hardly used to date also www.myspace.com/harperdiabate Dan Harper : 07515 400362 Extra Notes : We would be very grateful for any exposure of the CD through play, review spreading its release via word of mouth. This is out first release on Harper Diabate. Also we want people to know the story as well as the music and to continue our work in the arts and international development. Dan is always available to talk and to be interviewed. Please let us know of any reviews, air play etc that is scheduled so we can watch, listen, read and enjoy! Any other ideas of who to send copes to always welcome as we need to bridge the divide of all genres that the CD spans through. We very much look forward to releasing the next 5 albums we have on our hard drives and we are looking forward to playing live now as well as returning to Africa to initiate new localised projects when we can secure some funding.