Copenhagen Sextet fuses Afro Jazz with Krautrock and Funk into a captivating and hypnotic mixture.
If an underground band from Denmark not only makes it on the “Beyond Addis vol. 2” compilation of renowed german label Trikont but also onto Gilles Petersons BBC 6 radio playlist, they must have something special on offer – and indeed they do. Their organ and saxophone driven sound combines the irresistible groove of afro jazz with the hypnotic rhythms of krautrock, nervous funk and sometimes even doom rock, a mix that even gets notorious non-dancers at least nodding along in approval if not losing themselves in dance moves. The fact that this musical brew is purposely served in a consciously chosen raw garage sound gives the music of Debre Damo Dining Orchestra the extra magical touch.
The genesis of the unusual sound explains itself when you take a closer look at the different musical backgrounds of each band member. Simon Visti (b) and Asbjørn Nørgaard (dr, perc) were touring Europe several times with their now defunct rock band The Floor Is Made Of Lava. Peder Vind (keys) and Søren Skov (sax) played toether in a funk heavy afro-beat orchestra and Rasmus Karkov (sax, fl) plus Kasper Saaby (dr, perc) are coming from the musical world of jazz, soul and funk. As usual in a true collective, the personality of each member can be found in the sonic end result – that still exceeds the sum of its parts by far.
Through the common love of old vinyl records and digging through record shops, the band eventually discovered ethio jazz legend Mulatu Astatke – a discovery that proved to be the initial spark to the collective enthusiasm for the six Copenhageners to dig deeper and further into the world of the Ethiopian jazz of the 70s. Soon it became obvious that this genre would be the ideal platform from where they all could venture into new musical expeditions – the constantly running groove leaves much room for instrumental improvisations as well as bringing in other musical forms like funk, kraut-, psychedelic- or doom-rock into the game.
Their selftiteled debut from 2016 – of course released on vinyl – found great response with DJs all over the world, besides Gilles Peterson also Skeme Richards of legendary hip hop formation Rock Steady Crew is an avid fan.
Over the nine songs of the album with unmistakable instinct Debre Damo Dining Orchestra combine the irresistible groove of afro jazz with different musical universes into their very unique form of expression.
• Søren Lyhne Skov – Tenor sax and barytone
• Rasmus Karkov – Alto sax and flute
• Peder Mertner Vind – Keys
• Kasper Saaby – Drums and percusion
• Asbjørn Nørgaard – Drums, percusion and synths
• Simon Visti Tang – Bass
2014: Yesega Wat/Minem Aydelem, 7” single (self-released)
2016: Debre Damo Dining Orchestra, 12” LP (self-released)
2016: Yesega Wat on ”Beyond Addis vol. 2 – Modern Ethiopian Dance Grooves Inspired by Swinging Addis” (Trikont)
Skeme Richards, Rock Steady Crew:
Ubahn in Addis:
Where Pyramids and Space Collide:
Ripe Marula – live: