Monday, March 26, 2007

Krar Power

Daniel Nebiat. Image courtesy of Wavelength.

Twas a big night for Wavelength last night. Krar-ist Daniel Nebiat mashed up the place. There are many in the Wavelength extended family who enjoy the Ethiopian/Eritrean strip along Bloor near Ossington so it seemed logical at some point that there would be an opportunity for some musical crossover, especially following last month's panel discussion. A few emails between Wavelength and Music Africa begat Wavelength #356.

I'll let Stilleposter 'Demian' describe his (and the crowd's) reaction: "I thought Daniel Nebiat would play a more low-key folky set but shifted gears and really loved his super disco soul funk African groove." On top of that Nebiat brought a large dollop of Fred Frith meets Earl Scruggs vibe to this brand of disco. But disco it was - those booming DMX beats quickly engaged the dance punk/Hall and Oates-lovin' side of Wavelength patrons. Waleed Abdulhamid was an effective bassist, alternating between playing within the frequency of the krar or laying down subterranean grooves which gave the circular forms of the music greater dancefloor drama. But Nebiat was a star, playing to the ladies, grooving out with some truly twisted displays of polyrhythm and polytonality on the pentatonic krar. If there was any skepticism in the crowd, it vanished quickly. Even without the krar, Nebiat held the crowd with ease. The twenty or so Eritrean patrons also loved the vibe - and most likely Sneaky Dee's very capable sound system. Nadine McNulty from Music Africa told me that Sneak's may well become a hangout for them; they loved the atmosphere, the accepting vibe of the crowd and the trippy visuals.

I don't want to make too much of one admittedly wonderful night, but everyone was overjoyed beyond their expectations - Jonny and Wavelength, Nadine and Music Africa, the bands and everyone in attendance. More collaboration is sure to follow. When capable indie-minded organizers start working together, great works result.

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