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Album Review

The original release of Gigi's self-titled record on Palm represented a mix of restraint and brashness on the part of producer Bill Laswell. On one hand, Laswell brought in countless all-stars, such as fusion legends (and longtime collaborators) Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter — bold additions to Ethiopian pop music, to be sure. On the other hand, he also resisted the urge to create his usual loopy soundscapes, opting instead to have all of the musicians play their parts live. With Illuminated Audio, Laswell remixes Gigi in his more usual voice — a "reconstruction and mix translation." For better or worse, the results are heartily disconnected from the original and sound like pure Laswell: a swirling, ethereal ambient blend of voices, instrumental and literal. It is pleasant music, to be sure, though seems more like simply a new entry in Laswell's ongoing remix project than a wholly original work.

Customer Reviews

Soothing & Delicious

I'm not yet familiar with other Gigi albums, however this one is fantastic! I believe it's a remix of tracks from the debut album. Dim the lights, light some incense, lay back and listen.

I bought this on good faith...

...and it was worth every penny. I am pregnant with high blood pressure and I was looking for music to help me relax and unwind after a hard day's work. I bought this based on the :30 snippets and it is a great CD. I listen to it everynight before bed. I am going to check out her other CDs as well. A beautiful find.

Bill Laswell does it again......

I don't care what all those haters say about Bill Laswell over doing it on this album. It is a dub album, that is what it's supposed to be, and that is his thing. He has done dub versions of many other albums he's produced, as well as songs. I think all these songs rock! and they complement the orginial versions. Bill laswell rocks!!!! and so does Gigi.


Born: 1974 in Ethiopia

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Ejigayehu Shibabaw, better known as Gigi, is one of the few singers from the Horn of Africa -- the first since countrywoman Aster Aweke, in fact -- to break through with a major-label release. Gigi grew up in rural Ethiopia, listening to traditional and church music, before moving to the capital, Addis Ababa, when she was 14. There, her musical horizons broadened, hearing the local pop music "and all kinds of American music we could get on the radio. After that I went to Kenya, and there I was exposed...
Full Bio
Illuminated Audio, Gigi
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Customer Ratings