Invisible System return with another highly original eclectic fusion E.P. Following their internationally acclaimed and Songlines World Music Awards Best Newcomer Nominated CD Punt (Made in Ethiopia), and the 2011 internationally acclaimed album Street Clan the Cauldron E.P. offers what listeners have grown to enjoy from the Invisible System camp.
Ethiopia again meets Jamaica and the UK as Zewditu Tadesse, Dennis Wint and Sydney Salmon guest on vocals.
Spirit is perhaps their most pop based release yet still in a world of its own. Dennis Wint drives the vocals and Stuart Fisher from Courtney Love's band Hole drives the drums as Dan Harper does the rest.
Mama Yey is a true Ethio/Jamaican dub track where Sydney from Shashemene originating from Jamaica even sings in Amharic alongside ongoing Invisible System vocalist Zewditu Tadesse.
Coven is another post punk/goth/Ethiopian/rock fusion track featuring Merv Pepler from Eat Static / The Ozric Tentacles on drums, Dan Harper on guitar, Zewditu on vocals and the graffiti artist Los Mutartis / Warp on bass.
Azmari Fuse is another collaboration between Dan Harper and Mimi & Teremag delivering what can only be described as a singing and rum drinking session on a pirate ship whilst walking the plank.
Invisible System may well perform live at a few music festivals next year time allowing and radio play is again inevitable with the previous albums being played on e.g. BBC 6, BBC 3, BBC World Service, BBC Asian Net, BBC London, BBC Bristol, BBC C&G, Radio New Zealand, Radio Prague, RRR Australia and countless stations around other European countries and the USA/Canada.
Reviews took place for both albums in the international press with the last albums having been extremely favourably reviewed in e.g. The New York Times, Mojo, Uncut, Rock N Reel/R2, fRoots, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, ITunes, AllMusic.com, World Music Network, Financial Times (5 stars), Los Angeles (5 stars) www.lastheplace.com, Songlines etc.
Other artists that have guested on Invisible System albums include Captain Sensible from The Damned, Simon Hinkler from The Mission, Justin Adams from Robert Plant's band Strange Sensation, Baba Maal's composer Hilaire Chaby Hary, Zion Train and Mahmoud Ahmed from The Ethiopiques amongst others.
For more details contact Harper Diabate via email@example.com / 07515 400362
Recorded at Dan's home based roaming Worm Hole Studios and mastered by him between there and the commerical and educational Pro Tools HD studio he runs (also available to hire for any mix, master, recording at only £20 / hour including him (educational subsidy) - www.writhlingtonstudios.co.uk)
INVISIBLE SYSTEM : STREET CLAN : This album which included guests such as Portishead (Adrian Utley), Skip McDonald (On U Sound / Adrian Sherwood / Little Axe etc), Ozrics and Eat Static etc scored fantastic reviews in The New York Times, Financial Times, Uncut, BBC, Telegraph, Rock N Reel, R2, fRoots, etc. All reviews are in full at www.invisiblesystem.com / www.harperdiabate.com
On top of all the known styles in Invisible System fusions (reggae, psy, rock, ethiopian, african, dub, dance, drum and bass, electronica, goth etc ) it also introduced elements of dub step, dancehall, rnb, post punk and kraut rock.
INVISIBLE SYSTEM : PUNT – made in Ethiopia
Invisible System present a fusion album of Ethiopian, dub, dance, rock, drum & bass, psychedelia, electronica & live music.Traditional vocals & instruments meet the modern, electronic and brass. Recorded in Ethiopia. Live Europeans meet live Ethiopians!
Mahmoud Ahmed & Bahta Gebrehiwot (Ethiopiques)
Hilaire Chabby (Baba Maal)
Justin Adams (Robert Plant & Strange Sensation, ex-Jah Wobble’s Invaders)
Tsedenia G.Markos, Mimi, Terermeg, Feleke, Desta, Tewabe & Sami (Ethiopians post this album signed to Realworld Records as Dub Colossus)
Joie Hinton (ex-Eat Static & Ozric Tentacles / Here and Now / IGV)
Martin Cradick (Baka Beyond/ex-Outback)
Captain Sensible (The Damned)
Ed Wynne (Ozric Tentacles / Noden Inctus)
Simon Hinkler (The Mission)
Dubulah (Transglobal Underground, Temple of Sound, Natasha Atlas)
Perch (Zion Train)
Juldeh Camara (Justin Adams, Realworld)
Elmer Thudd (Loop Guru)
Gary Woodhouse (The Rhythmites)
Boswell / Warp (Junkwaffle & Bristol Graffiti Artist - Los Mutartis)
A brief run-down with the most recent reviews (more to come e.g. Uncut, The Word, Q etc):
5 star reviews e.g. Financial Times and www.LAsThePlace.com
4 star reviews e.g. Rock N Reel / R2 Magazine, World Music Network, www.allmusic.com etc
‘sturdy Ethiopian vocals are matched against backing that veers from wailing
psychedelic rock to trance, trip-hop and dub, it's an impressive achievement.’
- The Guardian, Robin Denselow
‘some of the album’s tracks have a brooding intensity which make them as
compelling as anything I’ve heard this year ‘- Songlines, Howard Male
‘you can imagine this becoming a mind blowing rave classic, pushing the envelope
beyond Ethiopqiues nostalgia.’ - MOJO, David Hutchenson
‘there are moments of electrifying mystique’ - Fly Global, Tim Woodall
’there's a pleasing headiness to its rough charm’ - The Independent, Andy Gill
‘a startlingly original combination of Ethiopian roots and pop with dub, electronica
and psychedelic rock’ - fRoots, Jamie Renton
‘this wonderfully strange and slightly otherworldly album’ refuses resolutely to be pigeon holed. One of the most startlingly original musical adventures of the year giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘fusion music’. - R2 / rock N Reel, Dave Haslam
‘like an exotic mythology flung into outer space‘ - World Music Network, TJ Nelson
‘an unhinged sense that anything could happen, it grows with each listen’ - fRoots, Jamie Renton
‘It’s an album that, to its credit, solidly defies easy description. It needs to be heard several times and each reveals a new delight’ - AllMusic.com, Chris Nickson
‘Each time you hear the songs, you hear something different as this will be the longevity of this world class fusion CD’ - LAsThePlace.com, Los Angeles
'The DIY feel of the arrangements suits the brooding other-wroldliness of the Ethiopian vocals far better than many more expensive productions.' - The Telegraph, Mark Hudson
'I encourage everyone to check it out, but not try to capture it..just feel it.' - Max Benkole Jarrett, BBC World Service
‘Brings together a fine mix of musicians to create a festive-sounding album recorded in Ethiopia’ – New Internationalist
A recent review wrote : http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/18360
Posted on Tuesday 20 May 2008 - 06:27
Congratulations to the organizers of the 7th Ethiopian Music Festival, which was a resounding success and brought great sounds to Addis Abeba. The only show I caught, due to overload, was Dan Harper. His work is astounding, bringing together house/techno beats both slow and fast with beautiful Ethiopian singers singing traditional songs and melodies to ride over his beats. World fusion taken to another level and maybe another musical revolution in the making? Definitely a memorable night.
Invisible System is the brain child of Dan Harper who spent 8 years aid working in Mali and Ethiopia, producing music in-between. He also since this album/recording initialised and put together, co-wrote a track and played on many and sound engineered A Town Called Addis by Dub Colossus on Realworld Records. Dub Colossus was made with Nick Page / Dubulah from Transglobal Underground/Temple of Sound/Natasha Atlas etc. One of the tracks Dan co-wrote and played on/engineered was also featured on the CD & DVD from the BBC series Long Way Down (Ewan McGregor and his friend traveling through Africa on motorbikes, including Ethiopia). Realworld took on the album post Dan inviting Nick Page/Dubulah to come and stay at his house and studio in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where they recorded the album in Dan’s Worm Hole Studios (the studio Dan built that follows him around the world changing form as to where it is based e.g. a third world country or Frome in Somerset). Worm Hole’s equipment can be setup around scarce resources such as in an outhouse with corrugated iron roofing (interesting in the rainy season), carpets and breeze blocks. It is also now constructed in a more solid form in Frome, Somerset whilst maintaining it’s DIY, nomadic and professional feel and look. Dan introduced Nick Page/Dubulah to the musicians and friends he had met and worked with whilst living in Addis for 3 years who also feature on this album Punt, as do many other Ethiopian musicians including their main star and BBC3 World Music Award Winner Mamoud Ahmed of the Ethiopiques series.
Invisible System played at the Ethiopian Music Festival, Addis Ababa last year and plan to do the same in 2009 if funding comes back around. We also hope to play some festivals such as Womad if it comes together and visas etc are sorted and we secure booking. Also we have been playing live in the UK with Dennis Wint (Jamaican born singer from the UK reggae band The Rhythmites) on vocals. We played last year using this line up on the main stage, Endorset Festival as well as supporting Dreadzone with Dennis on vocals, and this year we are playing on the main stage Thimbleberry Festival. Merv Pepler from Eat Static / Ozric Tentacles sometimes joins us on drums as does Bos/Warp on bass. We are talking about supporting Zion Train, The Ozric Tentacles etc as well as playing independently at other festivals and venues in the coming months.
The album is a welcome outcome from years of aid work and the frustrations that come with it. The lack of support for artists and musicians in this world lead to Dan establishing not only Harper Diabate Records and Harper Diabate Ribbon & Valve Microphones but also a charitable arm of the company in an attempt to continue his aid work but aimed at artists and in a less resource wasteful manner. The amount of time and resources used by the aid organization he worked for to fly people around the world to workshops that amount to very little, government lead thought and policy, constant bureaucracy and lack of being out there making a difference was just shocking, disappointing and impossible to combat or change. A contract signed to be out developing volunteer placements and making a difference turned into yet another desk based paper work job getting no-where full of myopia from London and senior management, with outrageous bullying of Ethiopian and programme staff left right and centre.
The albums were improvised, from scratch - all instruments and vocals. Improvisation was a largely new concept to most of the Ethiopian counterparts (previously told what or how to play or sing). Dan just went from go with your feelings and express them as Dan had done. The results were stunning both for them and for us. We are not into using Ethiopian (or Malian) samples or trying to quickly learn and imitate Ethiopian musicians who have their sounds, modes, scales, feelings and soul from their culture and country else we would be the neo-colonialists. We are into sharing, learning and exchange over time.
As well as the next Ethiopian fusion album with guests for release this year
we have another release with Dennis Wint, singer from the UK reggae band The Rhythmites on vocals. We are playing out live so look out for us at clubs and festivals and check the websites for info. We have been playing the Endorset Festival main stage and with Dreadzone to date. Another purely traditional Ethiopian album is also due for release, a second Ethiopian fusion album is on our hard drive (more upbeat), alongside a remix album featuring e.g. Baka Beyond, Zion Train, Jesus Jones, Inverse Gravity Vehicle (Joie Hinton of Eat Static / Ozric Tentacles), Ozric Tentacles, Power Steppers (Molara & Colin ex-Zion Train) etc.
Dan spent 3 years in Addis Ababa not 3 weeks, living, working and existing
there. Aid working all around the country, producing music based in Addis. He Met people from all walks of life. The music is based on real life experience not from reading. It is played from the heart and soul of everyone involved. Their own interpretation thus tapping the ebbs and flows of our lives.
Harper Diabate records, 1 River Walk, Frome, Somerset, BA11 5HU
www.harperdiabate.com / firstname.lastname@example.org - tel : +44 (0)7515 400362 / www.myspace.com/invisiblesystem / invisible system & harper diabate pages & groups on www.facebook.com / follow us at www.twitter.com/invisiblesystem
Distributed by Discovery (tel : +44 1380 728000, Martin@discovery-records.com) and Arabesque (tel : +44 (0)7980 633365 / (0)20 89927732, Brian.Horn@arab.co.uk, www.arabesque.co.uk)
Extra Notes :
We would be very grateful for any exposure of the CD through play, review spreading its release via word of mouth. This is out first release on Harper Diabate. Also we want people to know the story as well as the music and to continue our work in the arts and international development. Dan is always available to talk and to be interviewed.
Please let us know of any reviews, air play etc that is scheduled so we can watch, listen, read and enjoy.