Saturday, 26 March 2011

R2 / Rock N Reel Mag 4star review

Street Clan

Following Invisible System’s acclaimed, award nominated, debut Punt (Made In Ethiopia) comes this second eclectic helping of global fusion that once again knocks any preconceptions of ‘world music’ into a cocked hat. As with its predecessor Street Clan brings together Ethiopian musicians with members of bands as diverse as Hole, Portishead, Little Axe, Eat Static and The Ozric Tentacles and, just to make things even more interesting, adds a couple of Jamaican reggae vocalists, (Sydney Salmon from Shashamene, Ethiopia and Dennis Wint who Invisible System main man Dan Harper bumped into in Frome High Street) to the mix. Their involvement adds yet another dimension to an album that leads you along until you think you’ve got handle on proceedings before throwing a curve ball and setting off in a totally different direction. Spontaneous, joyous and full of sonic surprises it’s an unlikely endeavour where anything can, and often does, happen, with Ethiopian and Jamaican voices merging over music that ranges from beat heavy psychedelic guitar driven Krautrock (‘Live Up To Love’)to disjointed thrash-punk guitar and drums with traditional Ethiopian instruments (‘Mutant Miners’) and with every possible variation between. It really shouldn’t work, but it does and wonderfully so.
Dave Haslam