|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
|Ok, it's a hip-hop album. No, no, wait, it's a dub album. Forget that, it' s a Middle Eastern instrumental album. Ok, it's all of those and more. Not what I'd expect from Mush, who have wowed me in the recent past with some of the best hip-hop albums to come out across the board. Ethereal voices chant in and out with echoes and glasses clinking ala warriors style, slowly converging into a cohesive, albeit unconventional beat-pattern that had me stopping what I was doing to actually let it all sink in. It's subtle; it's well paced, and it's just plain interesting to listen to. So, by combining all these different genres, by utilizing electronic production alongside live instruments and a variety of diverse guests (including Scientist and Elias), we end up with a wide-ranging album that is full of nuances and surprises. Well done indeed. - Absorb