Asher Gamedze Shares 'Another Side With Another Time Ensemble'

Another Side with Another Time Ensemble is out now.

By: Feb. 21, 2024
Asher Gamedze Shares 'Another Side With Another Time Ensemble'
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International Anthem Recording Company releases a new EP from Asher Gamedze — the Cape Town, South Africa-based drummer — titled Another Side with Another Time Ensemble. Listen to the EP here.

In December of 2020, Asher Gamedze traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he would assemble a quintet with some of the city's finest improvisers: Maurice Louca (Elephantine, Northern Spy Recs) on synthesizers, Adham Zidan (The Invisible Hands, Baskot Lel Baltageyya) on bass, Chérif El-Masri (Eskenderella, Dimension Machine) on guitar, and Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls, Sublime Frequencies) on alto saxophone.

Set up on a rooftop in a historic part of the city, the group played free through some of Gamedze's recently composed tunes (all of which would end up on his 2023 LP Turbulence and Pulse) and under the guiding principles of his improvisational, philosophical, revolutionary ethos — "to give sound to the idea that another time is possible."

The session was filmed (video produced by Maged Nader can be seen in full via Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center here), and several pieces were included as LP & CD exclusive bonus tracks on Turbulence and Pulse. As of today, for the first time, those tracks – "Melancholia," "If It Rains. To Pursue Truth," and "Out Stepped Zim" – are available as a digital EP titled Another Side with Another Time Ensemble.

Another Side with Another Time Ensemble is out now, buy/stream it here.

ABOUT ASHER GAMEDZE

Asher Gamedze is a cultural worker based in Cape Town, South Africa, involved in music, education, and history. As an independent musician he works a drummer, composer, and bandleader.

A versatile drummer with an open sound and sensibility, Gamedze plays across and between multiple traditions of music including free improvisation, soul music, rock ‘n roll, and many locally situated traditions from Southern Africa. Asher has performed extensively in South Africa and other parts of the African continent including Egypt, Lesotho, and Malawi. He has been on multiple European tours and has also played some gigs in the USA, particularly in Chicago where he has a big community.

Gamedze's debut record as a bandleader, Dialectic Soul, was released to critical acclaim in 2020. The record received high ranks on Pitchfork and The New York Times‘s top ten jazz albums of the year, as well as winning ‘Best Traditional Jazz Album' at the Mzantsi Jazz Awards. Gamedze's second release, Out Side Work, consisting of two improvised duets with saxophone players Alan Bishop and Xristian Espinoza, came out in April 2022.

He toured that record with the reedman Espinoza in Europe in September 2022 and, in November 2022, toured Dialectic Soul, playing venues and festivals such as Jazzfest Berlin, Le Guess Who? and Flagey.

He has recently played on the following recordings: Luh'ra's Nice (2022), Xhanti Nokwali's Umthombo (2022), the Mushroom Hour (Johannesburg) / Total Refreshment Centre (London) collaboration On Our Own Clock (2021), Manny Walters' Dark Halo (2019) and Live at Milestone (2021), as well as both the full-length Angel Bat Dawid albums released on International Anthem, LIVE (2020) and The Oracle (2019). He has performed live with Ben LaMar Gay, Nduduzo Makhathini, Salim Washington, Sharif Shenaoui, Donna Khalife, and many others.

For Gamedze, the underlying message of his latest album Turbulence and Pulse is “to claim a form of historical agency and realize that the future is not a foregone conclusion. As people we can organize, to transform our world in small and big ways.” This concept comes out of Gamedze's involvement in radical cultural work and political organizing.

He adds: “One of the ideas that I've had for a long time is to unsettle the way that people think about culture as something static or as something fixed. There's this tension in Africa, because of the way that the colonists have constructed visions of African culture, where people speak about this need to conserve culture and document it. I think that's important, but you also have to understand that these things are moving. And we are the people who have to participate in that movement.”

Joining Gamedze on Turbulence and Pulse is Thembinkosi Mavimbela on bass, Buddy Wells on tenor saxophone, and Robbin Fassie on trumpet. Vocalist Julian Otis guests on a track - a good friend whom he met through Angel Bat Dawid's band. “I chose these musicians specifically because I know that they're open to understanding and interpreting the music from my perspective and my way of working.”

Photo by Dylan Valley



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