Mulatu Astatke: The Man & His Influence

Mulatu Astatke is a musical titan, in the same league as the likes of Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, yet he was first recognized to most people when The Paris-based world music record label, Buda Musique devoted the entire 4th installment of their respected series, Ethiopiques, to his compositions in 1998.

Astatke was born in 1943 in a town called Jimma in Ethiopia. His family sent him abroad to Wales to study chemical engineering, and instead, he came home with a degree in Music and a whole new sound brewing in his head. After Wales, he proceeded to the prestigious Berklee College of Music becoming the first African student to attend, studying the Vibraphone and percussion.

Mulatu Astatke – “Asosa” (from Mulatu Steps Ahead on Strut Records)
 

Read more, grab a few downloads, samples and more Ethiopian-influenced hip-hop after the jump.

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Quantic And His Combo Bárbaro Create Tradition In Transition

tru190_packshotRecorded in Cali, Colombia, Tradition In Transition is the brand new album from Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, the fantastic music ensemble created and directed by UK born producer, Quantic. Will ‘Quantic’ Holland mines the lesser-tapped musical sources from the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, fusing those rediscovered psychedelic, experimental and rhythmically rich sounds of the past with deep funk, soul elements and folkloric vocal styles.

The stellar array of musicians at the core of the Combo Bárbaro are: pianist Alfredo Linares, who wowed the sell-out crowds with his virtuoso performances on The Quantic Soul Orchestra’s 2008 tour; Freddy Colorado, the energetic, charismatic cornerstone of the Cali music circuit, on congas; Fernando Silva on baby bass; William Holland himself on electric guitar; and London-based drummer and long time Quantic collaborator Malcolm Catto, also well known for his own band The Heliocentrics, in fine form. Tradition In Transition also benefits incalculably from the talents of veteran Brazilian writer, arranger and musical innovator Arthur Verocai, Legendary Panamanian soul singer Kabir, Indian-born singer Falu and Pacific folklore singer and award-winning songwriter Nidia Góngora, who contributes on the beautiful “Un Canto A Mi Tierra.” The result is a multi-cultural patchwork – a record bathed but not exclusively rooted in Colombian musical culture, embracing the musical range of all the American continent – honoring and using its contributors’ individual backgrounds, while conjuring up a unique brand of contemporary music that is a joy to celebrate, and a live experience that defies comparison.

Free download: “Arianita”



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Tru Thoughts Issues New Quantic, Kinny, Stonephace And More For 10th Anniversary

With a slew of product in the pipeline, Brighton’s Tru Thoughts Recordings are coming through with goodies from Quantic, Kinny, Stonephace and more, celebrating their 10th anniversary as an independent label.

Shot by the legendary B+ in Columbia, Quantic’s new video documents the conception of his upcoming album, Tradition In Transition.

Free MP3 Download (from the new Tru Thoughts Shapes Compilation):
“Don’t Joke With A Hungry Mother” by Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra vs. Lanu (right-click, save as)

Read More & Watch New Videos From Kinny & Stoneface