Thursday, June 1, 2006

Gold & Wax

Posted on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Gold & Wax
Label: Palm
Rated: NONE
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Gold & Wax
With its multitracked sequences, its driving, breaks-friendly percussion and its slick, Western polish, there's little about the sound of Gold & Wax to qualify it for the 'world musicâ?� tag that it will inevitably (and lazily) be slapped with. That is, until Gigi's voice becomes part of the cosmopolitan mix. The Ethiopian singer has a rich and fluid set of pipes, and her vocal presence is both impressive and evocative. Whether or not she's singing in English (she only does so on one track), it's not too much of a poetic reach to say that her voice brings to bear the historical triumphs and troubles of her homeland in the same way that masterful blues singers deliver the beauty and agony of the Delta regardless of the musical milieu in which they are practicing. Gold & Wax is not an accidental title. It ties Gigi into a long line of Ethiopian musicians who have been unafraid to incorporate contemporary musical elements into their songs. Fully confident of the strength and resilience of their country's musical heritage, these performers know that no amount of drum & bass programming will change the essence of their craft.


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