Music

Arki Sound: Ethiopian Groove, Sardine Style

They say the name means “to quench”… I think I’ll be thirsty until I get to hear these guys in action again.

Story by Teo J. Babini - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos by R. Beltrame Video by Max Power

ARKI SOUND from Citizen Brooklyn on Vimeo.

My first exposure to Ethiopian music came from the film “Broken Flowers”, where Bill Murray’s African neighbor burns him an groovy road trip CD. I dug it then, but this would be the first time I ever really felt the energy. The first mission was gettin’ the band to the studio. This would seem rather simple until you saw the size of Sampson’s base amp, rather large, the drums would have to wait for a second trip. Once in the studio, the challenge was to fit the fellas into the frame, another tight squeeze to say the least.

Samson Kebede Photo ©CBK

Samson Kebede Photo ©CBK

And then there were four, packed so close together that one had to worry about a collision of instruments, but once they started playin’ those thoughts immediately went out the window, as I became hypnotized by the rhythm. The centerpiece of the dog pile was FranKey, a cool cat and percussionist from Alphabet City with an outfit almost as impressive as his musical background; a giant key dangles from his neck amongst a myriad of accessories. He gets the party started, and is the last one to leave. To his right, Marcus on the sax blowin’ the house down with gale force solos, reppin’ Ethiopia like it’s home, while George meditates on his guitar electrifying one’s eardrums. To the left, my man Samson on the homegrown East African bass, vibin’ out real smooth.

George Taylor Photo ©CBK

George Taylor Photo ©CBK

And vibrations there were, so much so that is shook the entire building and stopped our shoot short due to neighborly panic. We got we needed, luckily, but I was still bummed I didn’t get to really rock out. They say the name means “to quench”… I think I’ll be thirsty until I get to hear these guys in action again.

Frank Marino Photo ©CBK

Frank Marino Photo ©CBK

Marcus Cummins Photo ©CBK

Marcus Cummins Photo ©CBK

Check ‘em out here: arkisound.com or soundcloud.com/arkisound

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