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Ethiopian crunch


Asnake Gebreyes lead vocal
Lionel Martin tenor sax
Damien Cluzel bass
Fred Escoffier keyboards
Thomas Pierre drums


Tib Gléréan
+33(0)6 60 68 26 08


• Centre National de la Musique
• Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
• Adami, La culture avec la copie privée
• Spedidam
• Périscope – Lyon (FR)

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Production - Cie 4000

Ukandanz is back with “kemekem”, a few months after the release of an instrumental album. The combo finds its voice back with the iconic singer Asnake Gebreyes, still gushing on millennial energies from his native Ethiopa.

Aesthetes know it very well. Whether in music or alcohol, craziest mixtures can create the strongest emotions. Ukandanz cocktail proved it already, yet it is coming back again with an explosive formula. Ethiopia’s ancient beats keeps being shaken by garage rock and libertarian jazz… If you wondered if the Swinging Addis’ heart was still beating, we know who is handling the electroshock therapy nowadays!

During a dozen years of trips and five albums, Ukandanz gained a reputation in the world of globalized music. The band is back for a new epic towards the sources of its music. The modern and electric cantor Asnake Gebreyes is pointing the direction to a musicians’ pack in working order to agitate a bit more the trip between France and Ethiopia. Those love as much getting lost in crossroads as gathering together in detours… Even if they have no sense of direction, they have the sense of epic!

The fuel of this modern trance’s machine remains in the Ethiopic soul, with two fundamental elements: the elastic voice of one of the greatest figure of the present Addis Adeba’s scene (Asnake Gebreyes) and the compositions of Damien Cluzel, who is never more comfortable than experiencing musical or cultural crossovers. As far as the physical existence of the band is concerned, the bodies exult in rock’s energies and in improvisation’s catharsis (and vice versa).

Damien Cluzel switches from guitar to bass without losing any electricity and he opens up a new field of possibilities in terms of composition. The lifelong partner Lionel Martin blows hot and cold with a sound footprint that irradiates up to the silences that come along. Fred Escoffier, keyboarder who has proved his rhythmical solidity with the fine flower of French jazz, comes back with his virtuosity and his appetite for unfettered improvisation. It is up to the rookie Thomas Pierre, tremendous drummer with a wide range of shades, to complete the polyrhythmic edifice in order to support an abundant music, between structures inspired by traditions and controlled slides coming from modernity.

© Amaury Rullière


Ferjign Chereka / Moon Stroke - clip 2023
Tchuhetén Betsèmu - clip 2016




Ukandanz is back with “Kemekem”, a few months after the release of an instrumental album. The combo finds its voice back with the iconic singer Asnake Gebreyes, still gushing on millennial energies from his native Ethiopa. Combining Ethiopian musical tradition with a contemporary and libertarian reinterpretation, Ukandanz continues its work of public utility with this new opus. With as much subtlety as savagery, the band offers a new version of the Ethiopian crunch whose it is an inestimable pioneer. The fundamental polyrhythms explode on contact with progressive rock, punk music and sound experiments of this pack tightened by years of live music. New instrumental textures stay printed from the last album recorded without Asnake Gebreyes. His come-back raises the temperature a bit more… He is an incandescent prophet of a powerful and unbridled celebration!

© Amaury Rullière

Asnake Gebreyes : lead vocal
Damien Cluzel : bass
Lionel Martin : sax
Thomas Pierre : drums
Fred Escofier : keyboards

Arranged by Damien Cluzel
except Endihe New Fiker : Fred Escoffier


1. Ajebeshe Lideresh New
2. Alègntayé
3. Kemekem
4. Lebesh kabashen
5. Endihe new fiker
6. Anchin Mesay Konjo
7. Ferjign Chereka / Moon Stroke

listen & order the album


Recording Lucas Garnier @ Studio La Ciergerie _ Villeurbanne
Mix & Mastering R3myBoy
Produced by Compagnie 4000

4 Against The Odds


Release : June 17, 2022

Damien Cluzel : bass
Lionel Martin : tenor sax
Fred Escoffier : keyboards
Thomas Pierre : drums

Compositions : Damien Cluzel
except : “Alègntayé” : Ayaléw Abbèbè & Tesfaye Abbèbè
“Ferjign Chereka” : Asnaké Guebreyes

4 Against The Odds

1. Intro For Ethiopia
2. Senef
3. Alègntayé
4. Ferjign Chereka / Moon Stroke
5. 4 Against The Odds
6. Song for Francis

listen and order the album


Recording Lucas Garnier @ studio Mikrokosm
Mix and mastering Rémy Deliers
Artwork Florent Decornet

Ethiopia Wedet Neshe


Asnake Gebreyes & Express band :
Asnake Gebreyes : Vocals
Kibret Zekiyos : lead guitar
Feleke Hailu : keyboards
Dereje Tefera : bass guitar
Elias Bekele : drums


Ethiopia Wedet Neshe

1. Ajebeshe Lideresh New
2. Ethiopia Wedet Neshe
3. Bet Alba Negne
4. Ferjign Chereka
5. Ayesemame
6. Nebere

listen and order the album