"Konono No.1, Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembe, from Kinshasa, Congo, was founded more than 25 years ago by likembe (thumb-piano) virtuoso Mingiedi Mawangu. The band was one of the first groups to use electric amplified likembes. They built everything themselves. The pick-ups were made from hammered bits of car starter-motors, handwound with copper-wire; they made wooden microphones and jack-plugs from bits of copper-wire and branches. With a 25 watt amplifier on a car battery and the typical "lance voix" field speakers they play fast, powerful, distorted music with the energy and rawness of a punk band. Konono No.1 plays music based on the tradition of the Bazombe, a tribe living on the border of Angola and Congo. Their style is also the basis of modern Congolese music like Zaiko Langa Langa. They have three likembes (solo, accompaniment, and bass), three drummers (congas [ngoma], cowbells, and a kind of hi-hat from metal plates), two singers, three women dancers and the mysteriously moving "president". It is a rough type of urban Congolese music. The lyrics are a bitter comment on the social situation in the Congo. This CD is a tribute to Konono No.1, to that first ever gig in Holland. It's a rough recording, recorded in stereo directly from the mixing-desk. But the music speaks for itself. PLAY LOUD! credits "
A Life is a Billion Heartbeats
Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides
"Recorded at STEIM, Zaal 100, Jottem Studios between 2011-2014. Mixed and mastered by Yannis and Andy Artwork by Isabelle Vigier Andy Moor - electric guitar & baritone guitar Yannis Kyriakides - computer & analogue synths "
In Memory Of Ethiopia?s Greatest Azmari
"Bahru Kegne was a legendary azmari, who was even a private court-player under Haile Selassie, then the ‘free newspaper’ in the communist days and recording some amazing ‘modern’ cassettes in the last years of his life. Deep, hypnotic, trance-like music, and unlike things published before."
Chalachew Ashenati & Ililta Band
"Chalachew Ashenafi, the legendary Gondar azmari (1966-2012) did some tours with The Ex in recent years. A traditional player, but also forward, funny and stubborn. These are his last recordings ever. Astonishing strong music."
"1. Masani Cisse ... a rich nobleman, a very important person, close to god. Began very poor, making a living cutting and selling firewood. One day he saw a big dead tree. Long long time ago a rich warrior, a king, stranded at the tree, dying. A ghost promised him to guard the money at the tree. Masani Cisse started to cut. After three times, the ghost appeared and asked what he was doing. "I'm hungry," Masani answered. The ghost answered that he could do anything because the money was there in the spirit of the king. "If you are really hungry, you can take the money. But some things you are not allowed to do with it. You can not seduce women from someone else with it, for example." The story of Masani Cisse runs parallel with the beginning of the kora. The founder of the kora is called: Moussa Boulouge... "
Catch My Shoe
"The Ex, you see, are No Ordinary Band. Would anyone else not just continue but actually kick off a whole new period of frantic activity having just lost their lead singer a full thirty years after he co-founded the band? Unlikely. Yet that is exactly what The Ex have done, and "Catch My Shoe" is the triumphant result. "
The Lion Of Ethiopean Saxophone
"Getatchew passed away on April 4, 2016 at the age of 81 after a musical career of more than 68 years. As a final tribute The Ex has published this photobook. 168 pages. Four sections of pictures; a selection from Getatchew's private album with historical photos and photos by three very different international photographers — Andy Moor, guitarist in The Ex, Matias Corral and Nick Helderman who came on tour in Europe, America and to Addis Abeba — to document this unique collaboration between Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests. This photobook is the result of what appears to be an unlikely collaboration between Dutch underground band The Ex and Ethiopian saxophone legend Getatchew Mekuria. The Ex fell in love with an old Getatchew cassette from 1972, and in 2004 they wanted to invite him for their 25th Anniversary Festival. They went to Addis to find him and when they met, Getatchew was up for it right away. The result was a fruitful 10-year collaboration with more than a 100 concerts worldwide, plenty of enthusiastic press and two beautiful CD/LPs. In 2014, because of diabetes, he developed serious problems with his legs and couldn't travel any more. The Ex at that point decided to organise a Celebration of Getatchew Mekuria concert series in Ethiopia, including the National Theatre in Addis Abeba. It sold out. 1500 people came and there was a standing ovation. A truly honourable farewell to a great musician. Soon after this, his health began to deteriorate quickly. The book is co-published by Terp Records and Ex Records (EX 146-B). "
Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests
"it is a magnificent melding of cultures. [...] Moa Anbessa is a great introduction to Mekurya for rock fans. The Ex doesn’t cut their intensity a bit – heck, they need it all to keep up with Mekurya, still going strong in his seventies. This is a powerful, rocking record that will thrill even listeners who’ve never bought a “world music” album in their lives."