Tuesday, 1 June 2010

New album review from The States

New album review from The States
INVISIBLE SYSTEM
Punt: Made in Ethiopia
Harper Diabate 001

To call Invisible System a band is a bit of a misnomer. Instead it's largely the brainchild of Dan Harper, who was an aid worker in Ethiopia, where he befriended and recorded a number of musicians and singers, including the legendary Mahmoud Ahmed. He encouraged them to improvise, something different for those used to playing in structured formats. Back home in England, in brought in other musicians, including figures like Justin Adams, Juldeh Camara and even ex-punk Captain Sensible, to make the tracks into full pieces of music. It could have been a disaster, and it's to Harper's credit that it works so well, using reggae and dub in part (this project is a cousin to the Dub Colossus albums on Real World, employing some of the same Ethiopian musicians), plus some definite tinges of rock. It's worth pointing out that everything here features real musicians and singers, not samples, or people adopting another culture. At times hypnotic, at times rumblingly loud, it's a joy for the senses. Forget who's on it, and enjoy it as a major cross-cultural fusion that pays respect to all the cultures involved. It's world music in the very best way, but the question is where will Harper go from here. How do you top, or even follow, something like this? - CN