Recorded by a group of adventurous Ethiopians and Nick Page, one half of
the British group Temple Of Sound, Dub Colossus is a unique attempt to
mix traditional East African music with the most experimental reggae
sounds. Recorded first in Addis Ababa, it was completed in a two-week
session at the Real World studios in Wiltshire, thanks to the
involvement of the B&W Music Club.
Their first studio was a shed where electricity and water were intermittent and distractions included the noise of children playing outside, women doing their laundry, dogs barking and a cat chasing rats across the roof.
“We said we’d do it for fun,” says singer Tsedenia Gebremarkos. “We sang and did crazy stuff. We weren’t expecting anything to happen. We were just excited that somebody from Europe was interested in our music.”
After a week, the sessions finished and Nick left. “He said he would make something happen,” remembers Samuel Yerga, a 20-year-old piano prodigy. “But he did tell us it might be a long time. We just asked him not to forget us.”
“I’d been happy with the initial album,” says Page, “but when Real World talked about releasing it, they wanted to know if we could record some new stuff for B&W.”
Two years later, in the spring of 2008, most of the musicians regrouped in the west of England to work up some new songs and put finishing touches to those recorded in the shed.