|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
|Andre Afram Asmar does some quirky fusion-hop with a worldly feel. "robophiloso" has a lot of discordant percussion. "camelclutch" continues the Lawrence of Arabia vibe featuring reverbed orchestration of Middle eastern origin and vocals. "traptivity" is a hip-hop instrumental with desert chanting. Andre Afram Asmar has a distinct sensibility in a world drowning in sound-a-like hip-hop productions. Seriously good shit, hip-hop that shuffles to a different beat with a dub claustrophobic sensibility driving the whole thing. "stinktank" drops in an emcee, but he's so dubbed out that the production drives the song with the emcee backing the whole thing. Again, it's bad ass and original. "tobealover" is soulful reggae. Wait a minute, we have a good emcee track, good world dub stuff, and a good reggae number on one CD by one guy. The title track ends the album with distorted drums and a little Kora (I think). Allah probably looks down on this, but for Christ's sake here in the US we can enjoy cultural pillaging and the gems of connections these fusions make. Take a look, get a few ideas for your next album, or even better, get this guy on the payroll to mix your stuff. - Ghetto Blaster