|MH-216 Andre Afram Asmar - Racetothebottom
Andre Afram Asmar has crafted a masterwork of organic dub-influenced downtempo with over twenty guest artists and vocalists including Scientist, Elias, and Israel, from countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Over a year in the making, racetothebottom is an ambitious project that uses live instruments as the base for each track, and then accentuates them with samples, electronics, and computer manipulation. Rooted in non-violence, the search for common ground, and support for the world's oppressed, racetothebottom is meant to be a soundtrack to life. Asmar combines seemingly disparate styles in a single track - Middle Eastern vocals over Jamaican dub, Brazilian rhythms over Western electronics - to accentuate the harmony created, and to focus on beauty found in cultures so often viewed in a negative light.
|Fans of eclectic, globe-spanning sonics will find much to enjoy in the thirteen soothing cuts - Urb / At the forefront of both hybrid and political music - YRB / Sonically radical - XLR8R / It's not globe-hopping; it's a meltdown - New York Times / An act worthy of a Nobel Prize - Signal to Noise
|The constant merging of disparate styles of music is interesting to say the least. A few years ago who would have thought we would be hearing a hybrid of dub and Middle Eastern music? Andre Afram Asmar has taken it upon himself to make the two styles of music one, and the results are surprisingly accessible and intriguing. The free-flowing tunes on racetothebottom are heady and trippy, and slightly psychedelic. Asmar's tunes are thick with all kinds of effects, giving the listener the feeling of being light-headed or completely spaced out. At times the effects take center stage, while the songs seem to bleed along haphazardly in the background. While not for everyone, folks into dub music will want to check this out. The music is foreign, and yet strangely inviting to the untrained ear. Not your standard fare by any means. - Babysue