Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iness Mezel - "Amazone"

I heard Amazone by Iness Mezel on the unpredictable and fascinating RTE Lyric FM show, Reels to Ragas.with Gerry Godley.  It's on 7-8pm on Tuesdays, and I was putting our 7-month old to sleep upstairs, as one does.  Not with reels to ragas I might add, not exactly sleeping music good though it is.  So anyway as luck would have it I was descending the stairs tentatively baby-monitor in hand, listening for the telltale rustle-clunk-pause-scream that denotes the loss of the soother during the critical going-to-sleep phase - and for some reason this night, sleep happened before the loss-of-soother incident.  The point being, I was in the kitchen a few minutes short of 8pm, while Reels to Ragas was still on, and Mr Godley played "Amazone" as his final track.

It's been a long time since I've actually stood jaw-open at a track, but this one did it for sure.  It's tempting to describe it as a car-crash collage of styles (which implies that it's a bad thing - which it most definitely is not).  What is is, is a quite astonishing collage that (to my mind) draws the links between styles across thousands of years and thousands of miles.

It's the sound of Berber Africa looked at through a French lens, and (most compelling of all), is driven by the most African of all modern musics, pure Chicago house.  The verses are the thing - that spinning loopy 1-bar feel, and the stomp of the kick and the claps together, the echoes of ancient Africa as only Chicago made them sound, with that North African vocal floating and imploring over the top as the beat grinds away.

Thank you Iness Mezel, thank you Gerry Godley.  Cracking!

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