Exploding onto the UK music scene in 2002, Harambé began life as a loose affiliation of musicians centred around founder member and bassist Karl Clews. Their early self-funded releases displayed a wide range of influences, from the classic 70s soul of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder and the jazz of Miles and Herbie, through the New Orleans funk of the Meters, to Prince, 80s Britfunk and 90s acid-jazz.
In 2003 the band released their debut album, “Roots”, through Universal, to critical acclaim: where earlier efforts gave the impression of accomplished musicians showing off their chops, this album focussed those performances into accessible and funky soul songs, and spawned the underground hit, “World Turning”.
The two years following the release of “Roots” saw the band touring the UK and landing prestigious support slots with visiting artists such as Keziah Jones and home-grown soul talent including David McAlmont and the Brand New Heavies, and in 2005 the band toured Spain as support act for top selling Spanish chart act, Los Secretos.
Much of 2006 was spent recording the follow-up to “Roots”, 2007’s “Testify”. A ripple of personnel changes has brought further progression to the band’s sound: Andre St Clair Dyer’s smooth and seductive multilayered delivery bring a new sophistication to the vocals; Milt Mavrakakis’ hyperactive Hammond and clavinet lines add flavours of P-Funk and the New Orleans piano greats to the sound; Tony Pereyra’s virtuoso rock sensibilities on the guitar bring new grit, power and urgency to the songs; and drummer Timur Djahit’s loose-limbed, infectious rhythms are the perfect foil to mainstay Karl Clews’ percussive, percolating funk basslines.
Finally, after a change of location (founder member Karl Clews is now resident in Galway, in the west of Ireland), 2010 sees Harambé re-emerge onto the international music scene with some new exciting new material – an EP entitled “Reboot”, a clearing-of-the-decks, as it were, in anticipation of a new full-length album to follow in 2011.
Some quotes from the press:
‘Fun, danceable, and kicks Jamiroquai into the gutter’ – Jazzwise magazine
‘A refreshing blend of deep jazz and funky chords, perfectly complemented by smooth, soothing voices’ – Muzik magazine
‘Quality UK black music, performed with pure love and devotion’ – DJ magazine