TRACK PREMIERE: DEXTER STORY “ELECTRIC GURAGE”
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It’s been too long since Dexter Story‘s last album: the wonderful Wondem, a masterful mix of different style of East African funk, soul and jazz, was released in 2015 and reviewed comprehensively here. But now he’s back with the beautiful Bahir, which sounds to be not just an evolution but an elevation of Story’s already accomplished abilities. Other tracks feature L.A. RECORD cover alumna Sudan Archives, interviewed here, and stirring Ethiopian singer Hamelmal Abate. But this just-unveiled instrumental “Electric Gurage” is Story’s story and it’s absolutely irresistible, with a zig-zag melody and a beat that seems like it could (and should) go on forever. Fans of keyboardist/accordionist/composer Hailu Mergia’s now classic post-revolution album Tche Belew will recognize part of the inspiration here instantly. As Story explains:
“‘Electric Gurage’ is my ode to the pared-down 1970s synthesizer-heavy Hailu Mergia period and the uptempo music and dance of the Guragigna people in Ethiopia. It is a simple re-stated melody that somehow felt good and perfect for Bahir.”