I am in Europe for a wintry interlude from the humidity of SE Asia. In one of my old favourite music shops in Copenhagen, I asked the helpful (if somewhat harried) staff about their recommendations of local or Danish artists.
Happily, I was given a 20 minute tour of several sub sections of the ample racks with many, many suggestions. My hands were soon overflowing with CDs: jazz, funk, spoken word, pop and someone who two members of staff said, ‘he’s got a very distinct voice.’ I, obviously had been given fair warning.
Unable to justify 8 CDs (my initial shortlist) I narrowed it down to three which I am pleased to report are all of very high quality. And so the next several posts will be entirely dedicated to the sounds of Denmark!
Ibrahim Electric is a band that play ‘jazz, funky, fusion’ music ‘excellent for dancing’ according to one of the shops assistants. And indeed, this is an accurate description of the sound. A three-piece instrumental outfit that has been around for a long time, Ibrahim Electric makes eclectic funk-jazz sounds based around a driving drum beat (Stefan Pasborg) and founded upon the shimmering sounds of Hammond B3 as played by Jeppe Tuxen. Niclas Knudsen’s electric guitar work fills in the space in between, sculpting the sound of each track to its ultimate and individual destiny.
Though they finish off this set with a massive homage to Fela, Afrobeat is but one of their many styles. Really, the IE, sound (based upon this recording) is a kindred spirit to Martin, Medeski and Wood and even 1970’s prog jazz-soul. Absolutely fun. Accomplished. Attractive and addictive. Straight A’s to the lads from Copenhagen!
I think I’ll head back to the store for another slice of their cake and to check out the guy with a ‘very distinct voice.’
01 Pet Pettostan
02 Endangered Beat