Te’Amir is an acclaimed drummer and producer hailing from Los Angeles, California. Having played and performed with a plethora of world class musicians such as Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar, Kadhja Bonet and Aloe Blacc, among others of course, the extent of his influence within the jazz and beat scene spans far and wide. His talents as a producer show clearly on this “new” release titled Abyssinia & Abyssinia Rise. I put quotation marks around “new” because the music on this project has been released separately on different EPs last year (titled Abyssinia EP and Abyssinia Rise EP), but I’m just late to the party.
On both tapes, Te’Amir takes a deep dive into his Ethiopian heritage, experimenting with sounds from the beautiful country. Taking percussive rhythms through live instrumentation, as well as saxophone leads and heavy drumming, the compositions on this project are often explosive and wildly energetic. The bassline on “Habesha” is hypnotic, and the heavy beat just pulsates through as the track builds with keys and percussion that keeps the same energy throughout. “The Quest” and “All That You Need” features Dustin Warren with soulful as they swim within a sea of harps, drums, basslines and more strings that provide such a hypnotic tone to the track. This is felt throughout the project, with saxophone leads also playing a big role in the overall vibe and aura to the music. “Randal in Addis” is an example of this. The second half of the project feels a lot more futuristic in sound, with swirling synths and off-kilter drumming, such as on tracks like “Back to Abyssinia” and “Afar Hustle,” which are much more electronically-tinged.
These two EP’s combined are amazing in terms of their composition as he experiments freely with hip-hop, jazz and electronic music. A brilliant selection of tracks worth your time. Listen to Te’Amir’s Abyssinia & Abyssinia Rise below via Bandcamp, and don’t forget to support! Released via Tru Thoughts Records.