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Ariwo formed in London in 2015 and made their live premiere via a global online Boiler Room session that year before wowing the Manana electronic music festival in Santiago de Cuba in 2016; and they’ve been gathering steam ever since.
The band brings together Pouya Ehsaei and three of London’s most influential Cuban musicians: Irakere and Carlos Acosta’s Latin Grammy winning percussion virtuoso, Hammadi Valdes; Yussef Kamaal and Sierra Maestra lead trumpeter, Yelfris Valdes; and godfather of London’s Cuban scene, Oreste Noda.
Ariwo aim to connect their native musical traditions to electronic music in a way that pushes beyond traditional Cuban and Iranian identity, creating a sound that does not belong to any specific culture.
The word ‘ariwo’ means ‘noise’ in Yoruba. The West African religion came to Cuba during the transatlantic slave trade and heavily influenced the island’s musical development. Whether it is genres like Yambú, Songo, Guaguancó and Changüí, or echoes of Havana’s legendary conga processions, it is the fusion of these complex Afro-Cuban rhythms and syncopations with live electronic processes that forms the building blocks of Ariwo’s work. Ehsaei programmes his electronics and processes the instrumentation live, constantly changing the intensity to create a real-time dialogue that gives the music a definitive place in dancefloor culture.
‘One of the most exciting underground acts of the moment. A truly original debut album.’ Twisted Soul
‘Live Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazzy trumpet solos … an instant success.’ Resident Advisor
‘Formidably integrated. A sonic terra incognita guided only by a hypnotic and dubwise focus on forward motion.’ The Wire
‘A soundscape that was paralyzing and moving all at once.’ Pitchfork
‘A bold, standout statement with some high-def drum work.’ Bleep
‘Dark, mesmeric, uplifting and danceable; you won’t hear anything else like it.’ Evening Standard
Support is Soundspecies (live), who explore the territory between traditional rhythmic percussion music and electronic dance music. They will be playing music developed from a collaboration with Ache Meyi at the Manana festival, Cuba. Featuring singer Luzmira Zerpa from Family Atlantica, percussion and guitar.