Mulatu Astatke/ The Heliocentrics, 'Inspiration Information' (Strut)

Critical Mass

by SPIN Staff

Open ears might know the name of '60s African jazz master Astatke from hismusic for Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers, but this collaboration with the U.K.-based Heliocentrics (who've backed DJ Shadow and been sampled by Madlib) exists beyond all borders or eras. Originally teaming for a live one-off, the two parties complement each other intuitively on this session. Astatke's lyrical piano abuts levee-breaking beats and guitar crunge on "Masengo" and "Chik Chikka," while snaking Ethiopian horn lines meet the alien electronics of "Cha Cha" and "Mulatu." Two musical cultures fuse together so sublimely that there is no East or West.



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