Debo Band: “Ele”

Photo by Pete Lee

Debo Band’s eleven members are spread out from Boston to Ethiopia, and this dislocation is key to their sound. The group is rooted in Ethiopian music, specifically the fertile funk scene that dominated Addis Ababa in the ’70s.

But on its second album, Ere Gobez, Debo Band pulls from so many genres its dizzying. “Ele” makes things clear right up front: this is dance music, and this is a band that will make sure you dance your ass off. Traces of zydeco and jazz swirl through “Ele,” a song that sounds like a hallucinatory trip through an Ethiopian version of the French Quarter. Debo Band is the perfect tour guide for getting lost.

“Ele” appears on Ere Gobez, out now via FPE Records.

–Art Levy

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