Invisible System is the pseudonym and brainchild of producer Dan Harper, whose return to Mali has spawned an album of great creativity. Collaborating with some of Bamako's finest musicians, he seamlessly fuses traditional with modern whilst keeping alive the true essence of Malian music.
Dan Harper aka Invisible System rose to fame with his internationally acclaimed Ethiopian fusion albums and has collaborated and performed with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmed, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara. This new chapter finds Dan returning to the musical powerhouse of Mali where he spent three years as an aid worker from 1999, met his Malian wife and became a father. The experience of living in Mali sowed the seed for this project so many years later.
On his return to Mali, made in part possible by an Arts Council grant, Dan based himself in Samé, part of the green forested edge of the capital Bamako and the region where his wife was born and raised. Here he met up with some local griot musicians as well as the renowned Malian singer/songwriter Sidi Touré and other musician friends. It was clear from the start that the meeting of some of Bamako's finest musicians with Dan's visionary production skills was going to result in something very special and push the boundaries of Malian music.
The recording sessions took place over a month inside a rented house which Dan treated with mattresses for acoustic control. In-keeping with the true organic nature of the project, the musicians arrived at various times and jammed with Dan to produce tracks on the fly, some stemming from their initial ideas and some from Dan's - both parties keen to hear and work with the other's culture and style. As with previous Invisible System projects, everything is a first take and improvised on the spot making it spontaneous and real.
Remarkably, they managed to improvise forty-eight sketches/tracks in three weeks which were then sculpted, edited, mixed, produced and added with dub style bass by Dan in the UK after laying down some guitar, synth and beats in Bamako. This Riverboat release is an instrumental album of handpicked mixes from these sessions, and includes the beautiful sounds of the kora, ngoni and balafon. The combination of these ancient Malian musical traditions with the modern sounds and production wizardry of Dan is seamless, as the music pays respect to tradition in a unique fusion setting.
In the same way that the Invisible System album Punt (Made In Ethiopia) received worldwide acclaim when it was released in 2009, the Bamako Sessions draws on the many musical influences of Dan, who has the unique gift of being able to look back in time while keeping the music relevant today. Like all great collaborations, the true essence of this album lies in the mutual respect, friendship and interest between the musicians, giving each track a palpable sense of enjoyment, energy and creativity.
Collections: Africa, Albums, Best Sellers, CD Releases, Digital Releases, Riverboat Records, Subscription Products, World