Monday, May 20, 2013

Gigi - Illuminated Audio (Part 2 of 2)

Gigi Illuminated Audio
1. Sew Argen 0:00
2. Nafekeñ 9:15
3. Abet Wubet 17:47
4. Guramayle 24:26
5. Gud Fella 29:36
6. Guramayle (Slight Return) 35:03


The original release of Gigi's self-titled record on Palm represented a mix of restraint and brashness on the part of producer Bill Laswell. On one hand, Laswell brought in countless all-stars, such as fusion legends (and longtime collaborators) Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter -- bold additions to Ethiopian pop music, to be sure. On the other hand, he also resisted the urge to create his usual loopy soundscapes, opting instead to have all of the musicians play their parts live. With Illuminated Audio, Laswell remixes Gigi in his more usual voice -- a "reconstruction and mix translation." For better or worse, the results are heartily disconnected from the original and sound like pure Laswell: a swirling, ethereal ambient blend of voices, instrumental and literal. It is pleasant music, to be sure, though seems more like simply a new entry in Laswell's ongoing remix project than a wholly original work.