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