Monday, 1 April 2013

Music - Part 63 - Mark Ernestus meets Ben Zabo

Mark Ernestus meets Ben Zabo – Wari Vo Dubwise/Dana Dubwise (Glitterbeat Records)
12” Vinyl

It’s always nice to hear of  a new record label, and, even nicer to hear the first release and anticipate great things to come.

Glitterbeat Records claim to bring us ‘music from Africa and beyond’.  An exciting proposition particularly when music from the continent is becoming more and more acceptable as mainstream listening.

The first Glitterbeat release (limited to 500 copies) sees Mark Ernestus remix two tracks from Ben Zabo’s eponymously titled debut album of Afro-rock and effortlessly combine them with dub overtones to create the ‘dubwise’ remixes.

For almost ten years, Ernestus has honed in on African music from his electronic past and collaborated with Jeri-Jeri from Senegal last year.  Zabo hails from the ethnic group, Bwa, from Mali and created Afro-beat that was so popular it appeared  in African albums of the year for 2012.

Wari Vo starts instantly with a dub effect from the opening brass accompaniment.  Voices echo in and out, and occasional drum rolls enter over a frenetic, driving beat.  As an admirer of both African music and dub, this is a great track put together really well.  A perfect recipe for a unique danceable dub track.

Flip side, Dana, starts with hi-hat symbols and a slower beat to its predecessor, a lovely snippet of a great funky guitar riff and dub voices again.  There’s an brilliant intermittent bass note that grooves with the vocals and sounds not unlike the trademark bass of early Tackhead.

Both tracks are a style that is new and refreshing and has the prospect of becoming very very popular.  Roll on Summer when Zebo releases his "Democratie" EP!


Find out more about Mark Ernestus here and follow him on Twitter here.  Ben Zabo can be found here and his tweets can be read here.

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