Ethiopia, United Kingdom
Dub Colossus is the vision of Nick Page - aka Dubulah. Composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer Nick started his music career with Mykaell Riley (Steel Pulse) and has since worked with a long list of notable artists and eccentrics. In 1990 he formed Trans-Global Underground with Tim Whelan and Hammid Man-Tu, produced-wrote-played six albums before leaving in 1997 to form Temple of Sound with Neil Sparkes.
Dubulah first travelled to Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa in 2006 to collaborate with musicians and explore traditional Azmari styles, 60s Ethiopian pop, Ethiojazz and 70s Jamaican dub reggae. There he came across some amazingly talented artists - female vocalists Tsedenia Gebremarkos, a fine, soulful performer and highly successful African pop star, and Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe who runs a nightclub in Addis and has been described as 'Ethiopia's Edith Piaf', extraordinary young pianist Samuel Yirga, veteran saxophonist and jazz exponent Feleke Hailu and Teremage Woretaw, a traditional folk singer, an azmari, an exponent of the one-stringed messenqo violin - Dub Colossus was born.
When their first set, 'A Town Called Addis', was released back in 2008 it was hailed as one of the most inventive fusion albums of the year, with its blend of contemporary and traditional Ethiopian styles, jazz and dub reggae. Now comes a lengthy, even more varied and sophisticated album, 'Addis Through The Looking Glass', that moves the experiment on - with the Ethiopian contingent playing a greater role in the proceedings. It's still an experimental fusion set, not a straightforward recording of Ethiopian songs, but the successes of the past two years have led to growing confidence in the band.
This may have started out as a studio-based project, but Dub Colossus proved that they are also a rousing live band known to transport audiences to the pounding dancehalls of Addis Ababa with their intriguing and exuberant mix of traditional Ethiopian sounds, sturdy reggae rhythms and a modern dub twist.