Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baro 101

Krar is some kind of lyre, with five or six strings, and is mostly played in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

I am now the owner of my first krar-drum-baryton saxophone-trio! The musicians on "Baro 101" (Terp 2011) are Mesele Asmamaw (krar, vocal), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Mats Gustafsson (baryton saxophone), and it was recorded at room number 101 at the Baro Hotel, Addis Abeba (Ethiopia). They decided to record, after working together during a tour organized by The Ex. Some microphones were put up (as described in the cover), and after one hour they had forty minutes of improvised music ready to be released.

We get two tracks, both of them around twenty minutes long. The music is varied, from pling plong, free improv, and energetic blow outs to something close to lullabyes (towards the end). The sound of the krar is a bit strange to my ears, but still nice, and sometimes the string instrument almost sound like it´s electronic. Asmamaw also proves he´s a great singer.

Read more over at Terp, and check out some videos on YouTube from some of The Ex´s (and friends´) visits to Ethiopia (how about these?).

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