|Bole 2 Harlem / Bole 2 Harlem|
|Add Date:||2008-03-16|| ||Pull Date:||2008-05-18|| ||Charts:||Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||18 May||11 May||27 Apr||20 Apr||13 Apr||6 Apr||30 Mar||23 Mar|
Bole 2 Harlem – Bole 2 Harlem|
Reviewed by Sadie O., 3/7/08
Ethio-centric modern grooves from Harlem – combination of some traditional African elements and Hip Hop, Reggae, trance groove... Lots of Amharic, some Arabian, a bit of Brazilian Portuguese and moments of English, all very lovely and accomplished music. Some of the intros are a bit annoying for radio, but despite this it’s all excellent and worth playing.
No FCCs detected. I love 2 and 4, but everything’s really good.
1. 4:10 **female laugh, handclaps and chanting, then midtempo riddim rather like loping Reggae, male lead vocals and female chorus.
2. 4:06 ****oh yeah, this is the poop! Starts with just a smidge of drum and chant, then a seriously funky slightly downtempo old school hip hop groove, still with African chant. I’m so there!
3. 5:25 **starts with rain forest sounds, gradually morphs into sort of a trance-y downtempo groove with female vocals and really nice percussion. “A-salaam aleikum” repeated. Male spoken word – all very lovely.
4. 4:57 ****rooster crow and animal noises, then toast in English, then midtempo funk groove with many voices – really nice female singer with very traditional Ethiopian vocal inflections.
5. 4:20 ***wild! Starts with a bit of electronica, then high-energy party groove, male and female vocals back and forth and lots of drum. Yay!
6. 4:48 ***faint and slow intro, then slow nyahbinghi beat with a bit of toasting, then very downtempo funky hip hop. Way funky guitar and bass, nice hand drums. Moments of Sao Paolo and Brooklyn mixed in with Addis Ababa.
7. 5:56 *rain forest noises, then thumb piano and shakers – very subtle and mellow. Gradually increases complexity but still mellow, mostly female vocals. Laughter after about a minute and a half, then a more energetic jazzy groove with lots of syncopation.
8. 3:53 **starts with phone ringing, bit of voice mail recording in English, gets into very funky hip hoppy groove after half a minute or so – reminds me a bit of the better M.I.A. stuff. Again some Arabic lyrics, lots of ululations.
9. 4:43 **actually reminds me a bit of Bollywood, with some tabla and harmonium and midtempo chunky riddim. Interesting female vocals, rather trance-y.
10. 2:29 *car sounds, then downtempo very pretty groove with lots of thumb piano. Would get more stars but it’s too short and the intro was a bit pointless for radio.
11. 1:45 *wind chimes and coarse male vocals, nice riddim with a sort of sound collage of vocals.
12. 8:56 **rain forest sounds intro, remix of track 3 with more of a club beat coming in around a minute along. Dancey trancey – the fine percussion really is the saving grace. Orchestral elements, and mix elements.
13. 2:29 **dog barks and flutes intro, then midtempo shuffling groove with shouts of “Africaye”. Middle eastern horns and Harlem horns. Gradually becomes very, very cool (great drums, again), but too short... Long-ass fade – should have more song and less fade, dammit!