Azmari will unveil their new album “Samā’ī” on its release February 5, 2021 on Sdban Ultra / L’Autre Distribution.
« Fat Ari » the first track from this new album was released on November 6, 2020:
« Fat Ari means “The creator” in Amharic language, this song evolves from a bewitching theme where both flute and kaval joining in an unique atmosphere to finish with a dub sequence straight out of space… »
« Azalai » the second track was released on December 11, 2020, and the band says about it:
« Slowly, here she comes. Winding. She rubs her belly against the earth, slaloms between the stones, traces its destiny in the sea of gold. Azalai.
The music drags, repeats, completes and flies away like the wind stained with sand and spices.
She takes a breath in the desert dunes and walks forward. She walks without respite, she fills herself with images, of flavors, ecstasy and intensifies with the tempo.
It jerks, this music. She drowns, exhales and wakes up under the eastern sun. The bodies rock, twist, suffer the bite of the sun and get lost in drunkenness. No one sees the end of it.
It’s a hypnotic venom. An endless trance. Always forward. Always towards the distant horizon. We are going forward. Azalai as the only guide. ”
The word “Azalai” refer to the Tuareg trade caravan which crossed the Sahara desert two times a year for nearly 1000 kilometers for the transport of salt between Taoudenni and Timbuktu.
In this epic journey, the band introduces the saz Bağlama and the kaval, two instruments that they brought back during a tour in Istanbul and have then integrated into their universe.
These instruments come into communion to take us, thanks to a frenetic rhythm section into an heady trance … ».
I would be happy to send you a copy of the album and any other additional information (visuals, press kit) for announcements and/or interviews.
Created in Brussels in 2015, Azmari is a weaving musical odyssey that expertly fuses ethiogroove, dub, psychfunk and eastern sounds.
Taking inspiration from artists such as Okay Temiz, Mulatu Astatke, Cymande, Fela Kuti and The Heliocentrics, an Azmari, literally “one who praises” in Amharic, is an Ethiopian singer-musician, comparable to the European bard or the West African griot often accompanied with a masenqo – one-stringed fiddle or krar – lyre, two traditional ethiopian instruments.
Having released their debut EP ‘Ekera’ last year, a series of shows across Europe saw the Azmari sound develop and ten days performing in Istanbul opened the band’s ears to the Turkish sounds and rhythms from the 1960s. Keen to get back in the studio to start work on their debut album, studiously studying Turkish and Ethiopian scales, along with learning new instruments along the way including the berimbau, the ney and bağlama, the Azmari sound transformed into a rebellious, unrelenting and mesmerising trip.
The resulting nine tracks that make up debut album ‘Samā’ī’, released 5th February via Sdban UItra, is a deeply hypnotic experience where mesmerising rhythms and winding improvisations send the listener in to a higher state of consciousness.
From the magical sax of album opener ‘Zegiyitwali’, to the dubby template of ‘Cosmic Masadani’ and joyous horns of ‘Kugler’, Azmari seamlessly blend African and oriental melodies with effortless precision, providing a fresh take on the ethiojazz sound.
Elsewhere, the heavy, rhythmic sounds of ‘Tariq Al Sahara’ and the mystical and cosmological ‘Azalai’ continue our sacred journey full of raging saxes and wig-out percussion, while the free-spirited, trippy ‘Kadiköy’ coming in at nine minutes in duration, lends a trance-like quality to proceedings where psychedelic jazz meets afro-funk.