Posted on Leave a comment

D.C. DJ Sami brings a secret weapon to his dance music: A flute

“Way Up,” a standout track on Sami’s “Elevate” EP — his first collection of new music in nearly five years — begins down a path that will be familiar to those who have heard the music he’s produced, DJed or released on 1432 R, the label he co-founded: Chitter-chatter percussion and percolating bass give way to hands-in-air rave synths, which sync up to an interlocking rhythm.

But the journey soon diverges, with the sound of something unfamiliar in most club music: wind-in-the-woods flute, as if Pan is beckoning the listener off the wall and onto the dance floor. And that’s not a sample or synthesizer; it’s Sami himself.

“If you had told me when I was a kid that I was going to be making dance music with [the flute], I would have laughed,” he says. “Everybody’s got a voice, and the flute is definitely a medium through which I express mine.”

Read more in the Washington Post ..

Posted on Leave a comment

How a small D.C. record label became a hotbed of modern Ethiopian Sounds

1432R001 Yarada Lij Square Art
photo of 1432R001 A side label

Originally in the Washington Post by Chris Kelly

In its first two years, D.C.-based record label 1432 R has stood out for its ethos and its ear, but also for a more curious reason. Even though 1432 R takes its name from a District street address, its catalogue is dominated by music from more than 7,000 miles away — Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Launched in summer 2014, 1432 R has released nine records, almost all featuring Addis Ababa-based producers Mikael Seifu and Endeguena Mulu; one is by Ethiopian American co-founder Dawit Eklund. Their music seamlessly brings together house music grooves, the stutter of U.K. garage, an uneasy electronic ambience, and — perhaps most notably — Ethiopian folk music.

“Ethiopian music is super distinct,” Eklund, 26, says. “There are only four or five musical scales that they play in; each has its own meaning and attitude and mood.” What has caught the attention of listeners around the world is how they are “drawing from this classical and traditional sound and coupling it with electronic sounds,” crafting music that is unique, inventive and emotionally resonant.

READ MORE on the Washington Post