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Illuminated Audio (2020)

by Gigi
£28.00

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Format
Following reissues of Japanese fusionist Yuji Toriyama and Italian new age visionary Il Guardiano Del Faro, the third Time Capsule is a body of dub reinterpretations by celebrated producer Bill Laswell of Ethiopian singer Gigi. Curated by Tokyo record collector, music researcher and seasoned reissue supervisor Ken Hidaka, it is the first time Illuminated Audio is pressed to vinyl after its CD release in 2003.

Ejigayehu Shibabaw was born in 1974 in Chagni, northwestern Ethiopia and by pursuing a career as a singer, went against her father’s strict, traditional gender roles. As Gigi, she embraced the same musical freedom she had strived for in her personal life, incorporating the Ethiopian church, funk, hip-hop, West and South African music into her work. She first settled in Nairobi, then Addis Ababa, where she quickly established herself as one of the city’s leading singers. A move to San Francisco in 1998 led to a long and fruitful creative partnership with bassist and producer Bill Laswell.

Around the same time, Chris Blackwell had stepped away from Island Records to start the art house film company and label Palm Pictures. He took an interest in Gigi and together with Laswell, pulled together an all-star cast of musicians for her self-titled US debut album, including Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders and Wayne Shorter. It won international critical acclaim, not just for its musicianship but for making Gigi a “defining voice for the Ethiopian expatriate community”, as journalist Tyran Grillo praises in his Time Capsule liner notes. From the nation-defining 1896 victory over Italian invaders to the quiet revolutionaries who wear simple shemma garments, Grillo believes the themes in Gigi make it “a shower of sunlight on her homeland for those ignorant of its struggles.”

Released: August 2020
Cat: TC003
Label: Time Capsule

Listen

Tracklist

1. Abay
2. Tew Ante Sew
3. Mengedegna
4. Kahn
5. Sew Argeñ
6. Nafekeñ
7. Abet Wubet
8. Guramayle
9. Gud Fella
10. Guramayle (Slight Return)