Jun 13, 2015

Akalé Wubé - Mata

Akalé Wubé (meaning "my beautiful" in Amharic) is a quintet of musicians based in Paris, France who have been inspired to play "Ethio-Jazz" after drawing inspiration the Ethiopiques and other Ethiopian Jazz groups of the "golden age" throughout the sixties and seventies. They simply have taken older tunes to put a more modern contemporary twist by fusing in funk, tango, reggae, pop and other styles of music, already being an aesthetic in Ethiopian music, to help create their own unique sound.

Listening to “Mata”, the second album of Akalé Wubé, is like time travelling to Africa in the 70's. Their music take us to an imaginary musical territory halfway between the ethio-jazz that rocked Addis-Adeba at that time and have fascinated the West since and the Afrobeat from Lagos as conceived by the legendary Fela.

A further listen however makes us realize that it goes much beyond than just recreating the ethio-groove so much in fashion these days and the hypnotic sound of this Parisian band soon puts us in a trance. Integrating elements of soul, reggae, jazz and garage rock, Akalé Wubé sounds like a kind of Azmari Tortoise of Yoruba ancesters. Between reworked versions of classic songs by Alèmayu Esheté, Mulatu Astatqé or Getatchew Mekurya and own compositions, Akalé Wubé have achieved in 2 albums what many cannot do in a decade. They have defined their own style: a mix of refinement, mystery and virtuosity. Come on board Radio Groovalizacion. Next stop Paris-Adeba!


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