The inspiration for this project is Ethiopian singer/songwriter Gigi's eponymous 2001 debut album.
The inspiration for this project is Ethiopian singer/songwriter Gigi's eponymous 2001 debut album. Illuminated Audio is producer/mix guru Bill Laswell's mix translation of Gigi's songs from that album, and it's a masterpiece. Laswell produced and performed on Gigi, so he has been here before. The most brilliant aspect of his work here is how organic it is relative to the source material. He pulls together acoustic and electronic sounds and lets loose his jazz vibe, yet his soundscape flows seamlessly from the rhythmic soul of Gigi, and the rich melodicism of Gigi's beautiful songs is ever-present. Laswell hasn't re-imagined these songs—he's making love to them, and he's doing it with an abundance of finesse and a very hip awareness.—PVV