Thursday, November 29, 2012

Debo Band Impresses

Boston's Debo Band are a sprawling and massive musical collective enthralled with Ethiopian and African culture. Heavily influenced by the sounds of Ethiopian popular music from the 60's as well as vintage American soul and jazz music, the Debo Band create a fascinating trans-continental mix that's hypnotizingly hip. Their self-titled album is a brassy, bright, and a fantastic record that's consistently soulful and technically blinding.

The Debo Band clearly can play and they mix this proficiency with a passion and imagination that gives the tunes on this album a sense of life; they're organic, free flowing and seemingly able to breathe. Filled with more horns than a big band as well as accordions, violins, traditional percussion, and even vocals Debo Band is consistently taking it's influences and pushing them in different directions making them more modernist than revivalist. This is a complex record that's still organic enough to keep those who aren't fascinated by the music theory behind it all fascinated. Debo Band is a kinetic, constantly moving, swinging, and blaring record. It's filled with resounding sounds that are arranged in creative ways to make your heart beat faster and your ears ring in all the best ways.

They might be from Boston but the Debo Band have seemingly captured the essence and soul of the Heart of Africa. Debo Band is a brilliant record of world music that's so much more than just a record from another continent. This is a living and breathing entity that pulsates with vibrancy, vigor, and originality. The Debo Band may be influenced from the sounds of the past, but is very cleverly all their own.

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