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Imperial Tiger Orchestra

Ito.jpeg Text: Brendan Seibel

Afrobeat junkies and audio tourists alike can immerse themselves in Ethiopia's musical world. Swiss connoisseurs Imperial Tiger Orchestra bring their stylish homage to Paris, accompanied by Ethiopiques mastermind Francis Falceto and a screening of the short documentary Abyssinie Swing.

The Imperial Tiger Orchestra's approach to Ethiopian music is that of Pépé le Moko's towards Algeria, rather than the neo-realistic The Battle of Algiers. Driven by a sincere reverence for the haunting melodies which echoed through the streets of 1960's Addis Abeba, they accentuate mystique and mood.

Their brass heavy interpretations of songs from Ethiopia's heavy-weights-- Muluqén Mélléssé, Mahmoud Ahmed, Rahel Yohannes-- are certainly not authentic, but transcend rote mimicry by imbuing each song with a cinematic atmosphere. By capturing the foreignness of another time and another place, exploiting the eastern and Arab exoticism, and visualizing discoveries as gritty noir flicks the group succeeds in creating their own music.

Ideally the Imperial Tiger Orchestra would be found in the corner of a tightly packed café, surrounded by brightly garbed girls and grim-faced hustlers. Cigarette smoke would hang in the air, pools of cheap liquor would collect in scarred table-tops, the danger of a knife-fight or police patrol would be palpable. The Centre Culturel Suisse may lack the proper ambiance, but the band should provide plenty of their own for your evening's journey.

3/4 February 8pm
Centre Culturel Suisse
38, rue des Francs-Bourgeois 75003 Paris
(au fond du passage)
Mº Saint Paul, Rambuteau
Tickets: 7 et 10 €

Bonapart Paris apartments


The Editor

Great concert but torture - being seated in a room of statues was akin to listening to an ipod of James brown classics during your gran's funeral


This band is great, good to study to

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