|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
|Since I got this disc about a week ago, it has quickly become on of my favorites. I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about this artist or how many records he has out, but after hearing this I'm definitely going to look for more. The only real way I can begin to describe this CD is by saying it feels like taking some kind of psychedelic trip around the world. From India to Jamaica to Brazil, each track mixes these world rhythms with dark, downtempo beats and effects that can put anyone in a cool mood. The CD features thirteen tracks that seem to move from one region of the world to the next while maintaining some connection with each other. It would be tough to pick a favorite track and while that might sound bad, it's just that they are equally good. It's one of those rare CDs that you can put on and listen to all the way through without having to get your lazy ass up off the couch to skip a track and I have to appreciate that. While I can't recommend this for everyone, I will say that for anyone looking for something a little different, this is a great disc. For fans of relaxed trance beats, world music and dark moods this is a must-have. - Vapors