|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
|Middle Eastern elements, dub, ambient... To borrow from different styles or even merge them into one has become a totally common technique in music nowadays, but rarely are the results as colourful and unique (and not just an addition of styles) as this one. Credits list around twenty guest artists from around the world who contributed to an original mixture based on massive downtempo tracks, enriched in a constructive way with acoustic percussion and other ethnic vocal and instrumental contributions. Finished with various effects, racetothebottom creates a mysteriously thick and heavy atmosphere, and although this album includes all kinds of messages against violence or exploitation, the point that it doesn't sound a bit conceptual makes this one particularly outstanding. - Real Tokyo