Vis­i­ble Seven

Var­i­ous artists Planet ★★★✩

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

WHILE the boat­peo­ple de­bate rages, refugees from war-torn and trou­bled home­lands con­tinue to as­sim­i­late into Aus­tralian so­ci­ety. Mu­sic plays a sig­nif­i­cant, if largely un­her­alded, role in the in­te­gra­tion process, and it’s one that en­riches the cul­tural land­scape im­mea­sur­ably. Ini­ti­ated in 2005, Vis­i­ble is a men­tor­ship pro­gram in Mel­bourne that links newly ar­rived mu­si­cians with es­tab­lished lo­cal pro­duc­ers and artists. The com­pi­la­tion show­case of this year’s pro­gram,

Vis­i­ble Seven, un­der­lines the ef­fi­cacy of this Mul­ti­cul­tural Arts Vic­to­ria en­ter­prise. There’s no finer ex­am­ple of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism at work than the pol­ished reg­gae track Get Up and Live de­liv­ered by Ras Jah­know, a col­lec­tive that teams musos from Sri Lanka, Guinea, Cape Verde and Tonga with Mau­ri­tius-born vo­cal­ist, drum­mer and sound en­gi­neer Ja­son Heerah, of Elec­tric Em­pire fame. The lat­ter’s mu­si­cal and men­tor­ing skills are ev­i­dent in Ti­morese group Mys­tic Trio’s equally slick Give Free­dom a Go and Ethiopian teenager Sinit Tsegay’s

Ye­megem­ri­aye. Heerah’s prow­ess as a pro­ducer shines in Bitsat Sey­oum’s Ethio-jazz opener Alsemi Geba Belew. Nicky Bomba (Bus­ta­mento) works his mojo on Anbessa Ge­bre­hi­wot’s Hal­lelu­jah, in which the singer ac­com­pa­nies him­self on tra­di­tional Ethiopian in­stru­ments masenqo (one-string vi­o­lin) and ki­rar (lute). J-Az­maris, a seven-piece Ethio-jazz band recorded and pro­duced by Da­mon Smith, pays elo­quent trib­ute to Mu­latu As­tatke. Else­where, South Su­danese and Rwan­dan-born rap­pers M. Wol ( Africa) and Macc-Too ( Bet­ter

Fu­ture) ben­e­fit from the ex­per­tise of lo­cal pro­duc­ers Ptero Sty­lus and Ivan Khatchoyan.

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