TLDR : Ozferti’s Solarius Gamma is an absolute banger.
2020 – Digital album – Vinyl
Featured in one of our previous compilations (Southern Dreams, Unlog Complex #08 – 2017), Ozferti grew to become of the leading artists of a new strain of afro-futuristic revival we’ve been witnessing in the past few years in electronic music. His album Solarius Gamma, released last March can definitely attest it. Somewhere with excellent artists such as CLAP CLAP! or Engone Endong Ozferti succeeded in crafting his very own style, chanelling Ethiopic vibes through a lively and impeccable production, solid instrumental skills and a dense string of collaborations he’s built over the years between his studio in Brussels and artists in Addis Abeba.
Filled with 11 absolute bangers, Solarius Gamma also reveals another facet in Ozferti’s universe. His undeniable musical skills are completed by an incredible talent in character design, illustration and animation that all combined, allow him to put his music in context in an colorful and elegant way, tapping into animation tropes, tales of a future past and ethiopian culture to create a unique and multilayered afro-futuristic world, as in the video clip he’s made for his track Hagir Fikir, feat. Eténèsh Wassié. Beyond music, we’re talking about a new realm of world-building here.
Back to the album, who better to describe than Ozferti himself.
Welcome to the first chapter of the OZFERTI saga. Step into an unknown galaxy, where gravity is multi-dimensional and they don’t have Netflix ; where new gods are replacing the old idols and the ecosystems are being crushed by space-mining economy. Follow OZFERTI, the masked beatmaker, in his journey to the stars, in an album inspired by East-African music and partly produced and recorded in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
The 11 track album takes you through desertic landscapes and sci-fi atmospheres, with traditionnal rythm patterns and percussions being mixed with electronic synthesisers and live electric guitar.
The A side of the album kicks off with the long intro to Abyssinium Express, setting the atmosphere of the journey and the colorful sounds of HaddinQo’s masenqo. Following is the majestic bass of Hagir Fikir crowned with the powerful voice of Ethénèsh Wassié, like a solemn greeting to this new world. The groove on Space Gurage is undeniable and invites you to some celebration with the Sons of Dire Dawa and Ayou Nagesh on vocals. Chika Bet is a more mature tune, displaying Ozferti’s guitar skills and complex drum arrangements. Closing the side A is the almost religious experience of Selam,joining the Sons of Dire Dawa again.
Side B starts with a slower and more meditative pace, announced by the dark atmosphere and organ of the Lost Stela interlude and the preacher voice of Miki Mac. The title track Solarius Gamma is minimalistic and dreamy, opening space for the clarity of Mékidès Nigatu’s singing. The chainsaw synth riff of Eshi Eshi is brutally groovy and takes the album back on some more upbeat, almost rave, territory. Following are two masenqo tunes with breathtaking solos by Endris Hadié on Ta Na Da ;
and HaddinQo carrying the groove on Komet Melka while Ozferti’s synthesisers take a real space-opera take-off. The closing of the album takes us back to the desert with Purple Sand, a percussive
and up-beat track for the road.
Needless to say we highly recommend getting the vinyl limited edition.