Debo Band // Time Is Fire at Tropicalia
Debo Band raises the roof on the Ethiopian musical past, picking up where political upheaval of the 1970s and 1980s quenched the energy of one of East Africas most prolific, vibrant scenes. They imagine what Duke Ellington, while on his famed African tour, might have played with the Addis Ababa Police Orchestra (Blue Awaze). They invent the jams of the Ethiopians who served in the Korean War and brought back influences from East Asia (the catchy Okinawan song Hiyamikachi Bushi).
Debo Band brings these musical what-ifs to life on Ere Gobez (FPE Records; May 20, 2016), the bold, grooving follow-up to their acclaimed debut. The large ensemble is known for its fun, danceable dives into Ethiopias rich musical worldsfrom Orthodox Christian liturgy to hot-and-sweaty club sounds.
As Debo Band leader and sax player Danny Mekonnen insists, Ethiopian musical cultures are so diverse that the band could only scratch the surface even after ten years of dedicated study. In Ethiopia, in the early 70s, you had a lot of different styles and artists and arrangers. You had such wealth. You can never stop digging; there will always be new material to introduce people to. Thats something significant. Were digging much, much deeper. Were still unearthing new sounds after a decade. And these are sounds to pack the dancefloor.
Time is Fire is a band that could only come out of Washington DC. Rooted in DC's post-punk scene but reaching out to embrace rhythms from West Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and beyond, the group summons a kaleidoscopic sound that knows no borders-- a static blast of experimental radio from a country that doesn't exist.
Fronted by an Iranian-born Sufi poet and backed by players steeped in punk, dance and experimental music, Time is Fire mixes pan-cultural rhythms, floor-shaking funk grooves and acid-laced guitar leads into a mind-expanding geopolitical dance party.
2001 14 ST. Street NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20001
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|