Ethiopian singer Gigi presents Hulu-Dane from her album Gold & Wax, an organic blend of African songs mixed with elements of Jamaica, India and America.
Featuring a stellar roster, bassist Bill Laswell assembled an eclectic array of musical talent for Gold & Wax. India's great sarangi player/vocalist Ustad Sultan Khan, tabla player/drummer Karsh Kale, funk keyboard maestro Bernie Worrell, African multi-instrumentalists Abesgasu Shiota, Moges Habte, Aiyb Dieng and Assaye Zegeye; digital futurists MIDIval PunditZ and Skizz Fernando, and avant-guitarist Buckethead all contribute to this incredible album.
From the opening strains of "Semena-Wrock," a jazz-inspired, kit drum-led, up-tempo number, Gigi returns to old form. Surrounded by punchy saxophones and Laswell's signature low-end, Gigi's golden voice remains the driving force of the next 66 minutes. Backed by a tasteful landscape of drum 'n bass and resonant guitar echoes, the second track, "Anten" proves much more aligned with her work with Tabla Beat Science. The light textures of "Jerusalem," organ-led dynamics of "Salam," and the only English language song here, "Utopia," call for a spaciousness allowing the listener to invest time and emotion.