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Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:01 pm
by DanHarper
A new album is being released by Invisible System on 11th April following their internationally acclaimed and Songlines Awards nominated Punt (Made in Ethiopia).

As the man behind also creating Dub Colossus by inviting Nick Page out to my house and studio in Addis and linking him to the musicians I was recording with it is quite amazing what I manage to create whilst working as a full time aid worker out there.

The new album is explained in our first 5 and 4 star reviews below from the US and UK

I heard last week there is also a new Dub Colossus album out that I was unaware of as they don't communicate with me but happy to say it sounds nothing like ours so there are two exciting complementing albums again.

Release Date : 11/04 Cargo Distribution

Invisible System return with another highly original eclectic fusion album. Following their internationally acclaimed and Songlines World Music Awards Best Newcomer Nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan is named after some graffiti Dan Harper found in Mali, West Africa.

It is again not a pure world music album. It covers genres such as rock, dance, drum and bass, dub, reggae, Ethiopian, post-punk, kraut rock, pop, psychedelia and even this time rnb and dubstep.

17 tracks take you through a real journey of shockingly original pulsating sounds that tie to Punt but sound more accomplished and distinctive in style. The album was again recorded between Ethiopia, Mali and the UK whilst Dan Harper was aid working, with the mixing finished in country.

Many known guests again feature on this album ranging from Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Skip McDonald (On-U-Sound / African Head Charge, The Sugar Hill Gang, Tackhead and Little Axe), to Eat Static and The Ozric Tentacles, an original Ethiopiques singer and Courtney Love’s drummer from Hole. Other vocalists include new Ethiopian talent as well as those Dan recorded on Punt and set up Realworld’s Dub Colossus with; two Jamaican roots vocalists, one who lives in Shashamene, Ethiopia with 3 generations of his family after leaving New York. It also features artwork by Bristol based graffiti artist Warp/Los Mutartis, a favourite of Banksy. The album bridges the connections between Ethiopia, Jamaica and the UK.
Festival bookings are starting to take place with Invisible System having already played the main stages at e.g. Endorset, Thimbleberry and Music Port Festivals as well as support for Dreadzone.

Radio play is inevitable with the previous album played on e.g. BBC 6, BBC 3, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Net, BBC London, BBC Bristol, BBC C&G, Radio New Zealand, Radio Prague, RRR Australia and countless stations around other European countries and the USA/Canada.

Reviews are due in the international press again with the last album having been extremely favourably reviewed in Mojo, Uncut, Rock N Reel/R2, fRoots, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, ITunes, AllMusic.com, World Music Network, Financial Times (5 stars), Los Angeles (5 stars) www.lastheplace.com, etc.

For more details contact Harper Diabate via sales@harperdiabate.com / 07515 400362

Invisible System Takes World Fusion Music to a New Level with New CD Street Clan
Master musician Dan Harper and Invisible System has once again orchestrated a fusion masterpiece with his new CD Street Clan. With a more aggressive tone than last years Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan combines a European base with a Jamaican groove and an Ethiopian feel.

At first listen, I thought this CD would be great for a London or West Hollywood underground club. The second listen made me think it really needs to be played with hundreds of people in a mosh pit. After playing it everyday for a week, I finally realized this CD is perfect for one person in a mosh pit with hundreds of wild animals! This is mass confusion at its best! You will not be able to decide if you should go to a hip club or go on an African safari. Either way, the music is superb and the human expression is amazing.

Street Clan has grabbed graffiti from an international wall and transferred the meaning behind it into music. With a cast of experienced musicians from around the world, Invisible System’s Street Clan gets another five star review!

Check it out at www.HarperDiabate.com

http://lastheplace.com/2011/03/25/invis ... reet-clan/

INVISIBLE SYSTEM

****

Street Clan

(HARPER DIABATE RECORDS) www.harperdiabate.com



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

Rock N Reel / R2 Magazine

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:03 am
by Invisible System
More reviews out

New York Times Review
Invisible System
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/arts/ ... lan&st=cse
As an aid worker in Ethiopia and Mali, Dan Harper started recording local singers and bands. Then, as a musical project he called Invisible System, he started tinkering — extensively and transformatively — with what he collected, playing guitar, bass and synthesizers and adding collaborators. On Invisible System’s second album, “Street Clan” (Harper Diabate), the African sounds are melded with mean metal riffs, funk bass lines, dance beats, psychedelic guitar jams, dub-style echoes, the righteous declamations of a Jamaican-British reggae singer (Dennis Wint) and more. It’s a latter-day, more chopped up, more aggressive follow-through on the ideas of “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.” The roiling results have some of the volatility of the Mars Volta and Jimi Hendrix and the implacability of Lee Scratch Perry. The reggae honors the Rastafarian tenet of a return to Ethiopia, although it sometimes tilts toward cliché. But the Ethiopian singers — Zewditu Tadesse, Tawebe and Mimi — are all grabbers: raspy and passionate, their voices leaping out of the tracks.
Los Angeles
Invisible System Takes World Fusion Music to a New Level with New CD Street Clan
Master musician Dan Harper and Invisible System has once again orchestrated a fusion masterpiece with his new CD Street Clan. With a more aggressive tone than last years Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan combines a European base with a Jamaican groove and an Ethiopian feel.


The Daily Telegraph
By Mark Hudson 4:23PM BST 08 Apr 2011
Comment

Harper Diabate, £11.99

Mixing dark-toned Ethiopian folk sounds with West Country hippy electronica, this enterprising DIY production draws in contributions from British indie players from Portishead to On-U-Sound System. Touches of Krautrock, dubstep and a certain raw, informal drive make this one of the more interesting of many projects inspired by the great Ethiopiques series

Financial Times
4 stars!

Whopping Crossbreed of Genres
By
TJNelson
– April 17, 2011Posted in: CD Reviews


Invisible System - Street Clan
Invisible System

Street Clan (Harper Diabate Records, 2011)
Following up on their Songlines World Music Award Best Newcomer nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethopia), Invisible System, headed up by Dan Harper, is back with their sophomore recording Street Clan. Recorded in Ethiopia, Mali and the United Kingdom on Mr. Harper’s off time from his gig as an aid worker, Street Clan is another fantastical ride with guest appearances by Portishead’s Adrian Utley, Skip McDonald, Eat Static and The Ozirc Tentacles and percussionist Stuart Fisher. Delving into a razor-sharp otherworldliness, Invisible System tumbles headlong into an edgy course filled with plenty of twists and turns.
Packed with 17 tracks, Street Clan is a whopping crossbreed of genres, covering the map from dance to dub to reggae to rock to post-punk and to psychedelia. With such a daunting cornucopia of sounds and divergent directions, I wonder if perhaps it wouldn’t have been wiser to break up the tracks into two different recordings.
Personally, I found some of the post-punk, thrash tracks a little discordant with the overall sound. It’s one of those things where you have an idea of where the artist is going, but you’re not sure you want to follow. Listeners shouldn’t be discouraged because there are some excellent tracks on Street Clan.
Invisible System’s vocalist Zewditu Tadesse hits the mark on opening track “Tizita” against an eerie background of electronic, shadowy guitar and clever percussion. Equally good is the track “Ambassel” with Mimi’s Azmari traditional band and backed by some slick guitar licks. Dipping into the edgy, “Bone Flaps” is all guitar fire, drums, bass and Zewditu’s vocals in a sort of African punk homage.
Standout gems include the trippy reggae tinged “Woman’s Love,” the electronica charged “Live Up to Love” that screams trance joy and the hypnotic “Oumabetty” with its mix of rhythms, mournful sax lines and liquid vocals. “Teenage Lion” gets a jacked up treatment by Invisible System’s vocalists Zewditu Tadesse and the husky voiced Dennis Wint against a sway-backed reggae beat that pulses with sheer goodness.
Street Clan is akin some wild and wonderful underground cave club where the musical colors keep shifting and you just can’t help jumping into the very center.
Buy the album:
• In North America: Street Clan. Other recordings available: Punt
• In Europe: Street Clan. Other recordings available: Punt

Financial Times 4 stars, many more hits than misses!

BBC Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Al

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:29 pm
by Invisible System
BBC review and others now
BBC Review

“More wild, frantic and unexpected than its well-received predecessor. ”
Robin Denselow 2011-04-21
It’s impossible not to admire Dan Harper. Until five years ago, he was an aid worker in Ethiopia, where he not only became fascinated by the country’s remarkable music scene but built his own studio in Addis Ababa and managed to persuade leading local artists to record with him. He also invited producer and bassist Nick Page, also known as Count Dubulah, out to Ethiopia and introduced him to his musical friends; as a result, Page formed his highly successful Ethiopian fusion band Dub Colossus.
Once he returned to England, where he now works as an unconventional music teacher in the West Country, Harper continued work on a fusion project of his own. He persuaded an impressive selection of British musicians to add their contributions to his Ethiopian recordings, and the result was the album Punt, credited to a band Harper called Invisible System. It included a remarkable cast, from the legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed through to punk hero Captain Sensible, guitarist Justin Adams and Count Dubulah; the results veered from African styles to psychedelic rock, trip-hop and dub. Although this was originally something of an obscure DIY release, Harper managed to bring his work to national attention, and won impressive reviews.
Since then, the two Ethiopian fusion experiments have continued. Dub Colossus, now a rousing live band rather than merely a studio project, have a new album of Ethio-jazz and reggae fusions, Addis Through the Looking Glass, while Invisible System have a very different second set, Street Clan.
Once again, the album is based around recordings that Harper made in Africa – this time in Mali as well as Ethiopia – to which he adds his own guitar, bass, synth programming, percussion and production work. Then there are contributions from a new set of Western musicians, including the great American guitarist Skip McDonald, Adrian Utley from Portishead, Stuart Fisher (who has worked with Courtney Love), and members of psychedelic hippie heroes Ozric Tentacles. Then there’s Jamaican singer Dennis Wint, who Harper met in the Somerset town of Frome, where he lives and works.
Street Clan is even more wild, frantic and unexpected than Punt, with sections that work brilliantly and tracks where Ethiopian vocals are surrounded by a blitz of thrash guitar and percussion, results ranging from exhilarating to messy. The best tracks come towards the end, where the emphasis shifts from the clash of African vocals with full-tilt Western guitars, through to more conventional dub reggae. There’s still an African edge to Teenage Lion and Broken Heart, thanks to the vocal work from Zewditu Tadesse; but Wint dominates the songs with an energy and style that makes him sound like an unlikely male answer to early Patti Smith.


 
Invisible System
Street Clan

Harper Diabate Records

www.harperdiabate.com
sales@harperdiabate.com
07515 499362 (UK)

Release Date : 11/04           Part Of The April Cargo Collective : Cargo Distribution

Invisible System return with another highly original eclectic fusion album. Following their internationally acclaimed and Songlines World Music Awards Best Newcomer Nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan is named after some graffiti Dan Harper found in Mali, West Africa.

It is again not a pure world music album. It covers genres such as rock, dance, drum and bass, dub, reggae, Ethiopian, post-punk, kraut rock, pop, psychedelia and even this time rnb and dubstep.

17 tracks take you through a real journey of shockingly original pulsating sounds that tie to Punt but sound more accomplished and distinctive in style. The album was again recorded between Ethiopia, Mali and the UK whilst Dan Harper was aid working, with the mixing finished in country.

Many known guests again feature on this album ranging from Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Skip McDonald (On-U-Sound / African Head Charge, The Sugar Hill Gang, Tackhead and Little Axe), to Eat Static and The Ozric Tentacles, an original Ethiopiques singer and Courtney Love’s drummer from Hole. Other vocalists include new Ethiopian talent as well as those Dan recorded on Punt and set up Realworld’s Dub Colossus with; two Jamaican roots vocalists, one who lives in Shashamene, Ethiopia with 3 generations of his family after leaving New York. It also features artwork by Bristol based graffiti artist Warp/Los Mutartis, a favourite of Banksy. The album bridges the connections between Ethiopia, Jamaica and the UK.
Festival bookings are starting to take place with Invisible System having already played the main stages at e.g. Endorset, Thimbleberry and Music Port Festivals as well as support for Dreadzone.

Radio play is inevitable with the previous album played on e.g. BBC 6, BBC 3, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Net, BBC London, BBC Bristol, BBC C&G, Radio New Zealand, Radio Prague, RRR Australia and countless stations around other European countries and the USA/Canada.

Reviews are due in the international press again with the last album having been extremely favourably reviewed in Mojo, Uncut, Rock N Reel/R2, fRoots, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, ITunes, AllMusic.com, World Music Network, Financial Times (5 stars), Los Angeles (5 stars) www.lastheplace.com, etc.

For more details contact Harper Diabate via sales@harperdiabate.com / 07515 400362


New York Times Review
Invisible System
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/arts/ ... lan&st=cse
As an aid worker in Ethiopia and Mali, Dan Harper started recording local singers and bands. Then, as a musical project he called Invisible System, he started tinkering — extensively and transformatively — with what he collected, playing guitar, bass and synthesizers and adding collaborators. On Invisible System’s second album, “Street Clan” (Harper Diabate), the African sounds are melded with mean metal riffs, funk bass lines, dance beats, psychedelic guitar jams, dub-style echoes, the righteous declamations of a Jamaican-British reggae singer (Dennis Wint) and more. It’s a latter-day, more chopped up, more aggressive follow-through on the ideas of “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.” The roiling results have some of the volatility of the Mars Volta and Jimi Hendrix and the implacability of Lee Scratch Perry. The reggae honors the Rastafarian tenet of a return to Ethiopia, although it sometimes tilts toward cliché. But the Ethiopian singers — Zewditu Tadesse, Tawebe and Mimi — are all grabbers: raspy and passionate, their voices leaping out of the tracks.
Los Angeles
Invisible System Takes World Fusion Music to a New Level with New CD Street Clan
Master musician Dan Harper and Invisible System has once again orchestrated a fusion masterpiece with his new CD Street Clan. With a more aggressive tone than last years Punt (Made in Ethiopia), Street Clan combines a European base with a Jamaican groove and an Ethiopian feel.

At first listen, I thought this CD would be great for a London or West Hollywood underground club. The second listen made me think it really needs to be played with hundreds of people in a mosh pit. After playing it everyday for a week, I finally realized this CD is perfect for one person in a mosh pit with hundreds of wild animals! This is mass confusion at its best! You will not be able to decide if you should go to a hip club or go on an African safari. Either way, the music is superb and the human expression is amazing.

Street Clan has grabbed graffiti from an international wall and transferred the meaning behind it into music. With a cast of experienced musicians from around the world, Invisible System’s Street Clan gets another five star review!

Check it out at www.HarperDiabate.com
 
http://lastheplace.com/2011/03/25/invis ... reet-clan/

INVISIBLE SYSTEM
****
Street Clan
(HARPER DIABATE RECORDS) www.harperdiabate.com
 
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
Rock N Reel / R2 Mag

The Daily Telegraph
By Mark Hudson 4:23PM BST 08 Apr 2011
Comment

Harper Diabate, £11.99

Mixing dark-toned Ethiopian folk sounds with West Country hippy electronica, this enterprising DIY production draws in contributions from British indie players from Portishead to On-U-Sound System. Touches of Krautrock, dubstep and a certain raw, informal drive make this one of the more interesting of many projects inspired by the great Ethiopiques series

Financial Times
4 stars!

Whopping Crossbreed of Genres
By
TJNelson
– April 17, 2011Posted in: CD Reviews


Invisible System - Street Clan
Invisible System

Street Clan (Harper Diabate Records, 2011)
Following up on their Songlines World Music Award Best Newcomer nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethopia), Invisible System, headed up by Dan Harper, is back with their sophomore recording Street Clan. Recorded in Ethiopia, Mali and the United Kingdom on Mr. Harper’s off time from his gig as an aid worker, Street Clan is another fantastical ride with guest appearances by Portishead’s Adrian Utley, Skip McDonald, Eat Static and The Ozirc Tentacles and percussionist Stuart Fisher. Delving into a razor-sharp otherworldliness, Invisible System tumbles headlong into an edgy course filled with plenty of twists and turns.
Packed with 17 tracks, Street Clan is a whopping crossbreed of genres, covering the map from dance to dub to reggae to rock to post-punk and to psychedelia. With such a daunting cornucopia of sounds and divergent directions, I wonder if perhaps it wouldn’t have been wiser to break up the tracks into two different recordings.
Personally, I found some of the post-punk, thrash tracks a little discordant with the overall sound. It’s one of those things where you have an idea of where the artist is going, but you’re not sure you want to follow. Listeners shouldn’t be discouraged because there are some excellent tracks on Street Clan.
Invisible System’s vocalist Zewditu Tadesse hits the mark on opening track “Tizita” against an eerie background of electronic, shadowy guitar and clever percussion. Equally good is the track “Ambassel” with Mimi’s Azmari traditional band and backed by some slick guitar licks. Dipping into the edgy, “Bone Flaps” is all guitar fire, drums, bass and Zewditu’s vocals in a sort of African punk homage.
Standout gems include the trippy reggae tinged “Woman’s Love,” the electronica charged “Live Up to Love” that screams trance joy and the hypnotic “Oumabetty” with its mix of rhythms, mournful sax lines and liquid vocals. “Teenage Lion” gets a jacked up treatment by Invisible System’s vocalists Zewditu Tadesse and the husky voiced Dennis Wint against a sway-backed reggae beat that pulses with sheer goodness.
Street Clan is akin some wild and wonderful underground cave club where the musical colors keep shifting and you just can’t help jumping into the very center.
Buy the album:
• In North America: Street Clan. Other recordings available: Punt
• In Europe: Street Clan. Other recordings available: Punt

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:24 am
by Jonathan E.
I have to admit that descriptions like "a blitz of thrash guitar and percussion" rather scare me off. Surely I'm not getting ancient, am I?

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:26 am
by Invisible System
You may be! Or just more traditional/conservative in music taste:)

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:43 am
by Jonathan E.
Or both. It's really most distressing!

Once I was quite enthusiastic about the outer edges of musical exploration, but now I'm inclined not to hurt my ears. Even my great love of Adrian Sherwood is occasionally tempered by his more extreme sonic effects.

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:50 am
by Invisible System
Why would is hurt your ears? It is no louder or even harsher than any other guitar, just a little distorted line in amongst other sounds and vocal! lol :)

just comes down to taste, and the mood etc you are in at the time of listening to the track..

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:16 am
by Jonathan E.
Well, I see that Street Clan is now up on MOG so I can give it a no-risk listen and make up my own mind. But, the truth is, I've never been partial to thrash aesthetics.

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:40 am
by Invisible System
you may not like those tacks then, but I don't like thrash metal either!

just felt right to play that way on a couple of tracks, but they are not thrash metal :)

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 9:48 am
by DanHarper
More reviews out e.g. New York Times, BBC etc below :)

New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/arts/ ... offey.html



As an aid worker in Ethiopia and Mali, Dan Harper started recording local singers and bands. Then, as a musical project he called Invisible System, he started tinkering — extensively and transformatively — with what he collected, playing guitar, bass and synthesizers and adding collaborators. On Invisible System’s second album, “Street Clan” (Harper Diabate), the African sounds are melded with mean metal riffs, funk bass lines, dance beats, psychedelic guitar jams, dub-style echoes, the righteous declamations of a Jamaican-British reggae singer (Dennis Wint) and more. It’s a latter-day, more chopped up, more aggressive follow-through on the ideas of “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.” The roiling results have some of the volatility of the Mars Volta and Jimi Hendrix and the implacability of Lee Scratch Perry. The reggae honors the Rastafarian tenet of a return to Ethiopia, although it sometimes tilts toward cliché. But the Ethiopian singers — Zewditu Tadesse, Tawebe and Mimi — are all grabbers: raspy and passionate, their voices leaping out of the tracks.





BBC Review - by Robin Denselow : Guardian world journalist

“More wild, frantic and unexpected than its well-received predecessor. ”
Robin Denselow 2011-04-21


It’s impossible not to admire Dan Harper. Until five years ago, he was an aid worker in Ethiopia, where he not only became fascinated by the country’s remarkable music scene but built his own studio in Addis Ababa and managed to persuade leading local artists to record with him. He also invited producer and bassist Nick Page, also known as Count Dubulah, out to Ethiopia and introduced him to his musical friends; as a result, Page formed his highly successful Ethiopian fusion band Dub Colossus.
Once he returned to England, where he now works as an unconventional music teacher in the West Country, Harper continued work on a fusion project of his own. He persuaded an impressive selection of British musicians to add their contributions to his Ethiopian recordings, and the result was the album Punt, credited to a band Harper called Invisible System. It included a remarkable cast, from the legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed through to punk hero Captain Sensible, guitarist Justin Adams and Count Dubulah; the results veered from African styles to psychedelic rock, trip-hop and dub. Although this was originally something of an obscure DIY release, Harper managed to bring his work to national attention, and won impressive reviews.


Since then, the two Ethiopian fusion experiments have continued. Dub Colossus, now a rousing live band rather than merely a studio project, have a new album of Ethio-jazz and reggae fusions, Addis Through the Looking Glass, while Invisible System have a very different second set, Street Clan.


Once again, the album is based around recordings that Harper made in Africa – this time in Mali as well as Ethiopia – to which he adds his own guitar, bass, synth programming, percussion and production work. Then there are contributions from a new set of Western musicians, including the great American guitarist Skip McDonald, Adrian Utley from Portishead, Stuart Fisher (who has worked with Courtney Love), and members of psychedelic hippie heroes Ozric Tentacles. Then there’s Jamaican singer Dennis Wint, who Harper met in the Somerset town of Frome, where he lives and works.
Street Clan is even more wild, frantic and unexpected than Punt, with sections that work brilliantly and tracks where Ethiopian vocals are surrounded by a blitz of thrash guitar and percussion, results ranging from exhilarating to messy. The best tracks come towards the end, where the emphasis shifts from the clash of African vocals with full-tilt Western guitars, through to more conventional dub reggae. There’s still an African edge to Teenage Lion and Broken Heart, thanks to the vocal work from Zewditu Tadesse; but Wint dominates the songs with an energy and style that makes him sound like an unlikely male answer to early Patti Smith.

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 11:31 pm
by Invisible System
Hmmm I can see why you placed that comment on the other strip Jonathan, listed like mine but it is an obvious cut n paste form www.harperdiabate.com and I now know who from;)

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 12:00 am
by Invisible System
and what is MOG please?

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:27 am
by Jonathan E.
Invisible System wrote:and what is MOG please?

MOG is a US streaming service similar to Spotify from what I know of Spotify, although I suspect not nearly as good or as well loved. I find it quite clunky, but good enough for auditioning and then making a serious purchasing decision, which in my antiquated case still means buying a CD. I'm hoping to finally get around to listening to Street Clan this evening (the wife is out and enhancement is near) but there's a little competition for time with the new Lee Perry Rise Again! Will there be time for both? And tidying the house after ecstatic musical communion? Watch this space!

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:59 am
by Invisible System
Hey Jonathan,

Never heard of it! I will have a look. The only problem I have with these sites is the sound quality, it drives me mad and I can't listen to artwork that crushed:(

I read about the new Lee Perry one yesterday as well. I bumped into Lee in London just before I moved out to Ethiopia. In fact I still have his address and promised I would post him the music I planned to make in Ethiopia (this was before I had done it) so I should do that at some point as I have not even sent him the first album yet....

Your life sounds as full on as mine... For faster house work half of Street Clan will speed you up! The other half may leave you in thought and dreamstate. But I can't say for sure as music has a different effect on different people and for all I know it may leave you screaming and climbing up the walls especially with those thrash guitars :)

In some ways we are the most 'unworld' 'world' band but I like that;)

Re: Invisible System New Ethiopian Jamaican UK Fusion Album

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 12:44 am
by Jonathan E.
I listened to Street Clan yesterday evening and am listening again today. It's not nearly as scary as some of those reviews made out. In fact, it's really, really good and I love it, all of it including the noisy guitars — so I'm a bit miffed to find that I can't buy it in the US until June 21! Staggeringly creative and beautiful piece of work. Congratulations to Dan.

As far as comparisons to Dub Colossus' Addis Through The Looking Glass . . . well, apples and oranges. Addis is a mellower and jazzier experience and staggering in its own way — but Street Clan is perhaps a bit more staggering. Since the year is 2011, with two 1s in its lineup, there will simply have to be two No. 1 albums for the year and I nominate Street Clan and Addis Through The Looking Glass to make sure that Ethiopia gets all due respect for its musical riches!

While we're at it, Rise Again, the new Lee Perry album produced by Bill Laswell is also pretty solid and has some Ethiopian tinge through the presence of Gigi with auxiliary vocals. Compared to the other two albums, however, it's a fairly straightforward LSP album — and what are these days we're living in when one can refer to "a fairly straightforward LSP album"? Street Clan and Addis Through The Looking Glass are both serious boundary busters of exploratory music. Neither should be ignored by any hardcore music enthusiasts.