|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
|Some of the songs on racetothebottom come close to painting an actual picture. The sound is too experimental to have any true pop appeal, but when I first heard Andre Asmar's album, I had to ask, "Where the hell does this music come from?" Asmar's got a long, hard and dark story for a 28 year old who is arguably at the forefront of both hybrid and political music. In "traptivity" a Brazilian rapper rhymes over Arabic music as a hip-hop beat keeps it all from falling apart. Jamaican dub ebbs throughout, distorting vocals and pieces of the instrumentals. There is a definite and necessary political undercurrent in Asmar's sonic voyages. Let him take you along for the ride. - Yellow Rat Bastard