Dexter Story’s “Wejene Aola” 7″ release makes Vinyl Factory’s top 10 list for 2016.
4. Dexter Story ft. Kamasi Washington
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An Ethio-funk bomb from Dexter Story, whose cover Tilahun Gessesse’s 1970 ‘Wejene Aola‘ is a homage to the oppressed Oromo people of southern Ethiopia and a testament to just how contemporary the country’s verdant ‘70s music scene still sounds. Taken from the brilliant Wondem album, Story is joined by spiritual jazz messenger Kamasi Washington, who blows a riot all over the new arrangement, his rasping, honking sax proving he can funk with the best of them. The b-side features the only track not to make the vinyl pressing of the LP, the dream-like ‘Eastern Prayer’, a spiritual antidote to the hedonism of ‘Wejene Aola’ carried by the meditational chants of vocalist Nia Andrews. A unique 7” from a label whose consistent reissue output is now being matched by some stellar new music.
Dexter Story drops a new 7″ vinyl single on Soundway Records entitled “Wejene Aola” featuring Kamasi Washington. The song was originally sung by Ethiopian legend Tilahun Gessesse and released on cassette in the 1970’s. Story’s version is in tribute to the resilient Oromo ethnic group and includes “Eastern Prayer” featuring Nia Andrews on the b-side.
Featured on KCRW’s Music Blog “Artist You Should Know” on September 22 with the video premiere for “Eastern Prayer” directed by DJ multi-hyphenate Anthony Valadez. This is in support of the upcoming album release “Wondem” on Soundway Records. Click here.
Dexter Story is a unique figure in music today — He has played in different musical circles, booked for the legendary Temple Bar, worked as a product manager for Def Jam, and has now finally decided to work on his own songs and hit the record button.
His solo record is entitled, Wondem and is a collection of 12 songs that are inspired by the LA band Ethiocali, in which he plays the drums along side Kamasi Washington. Ethiocali performs the connecting sounds between Africa, California and everything else in between.
Dexter asked me to direct this video and the minute I hit play, I had all these ideas in my head in terms of a personal journey. “Eastern Prayer” just resonated with me — The chants, the steel drums and everything in between channeled Jamie XX and Fela Kuti in my head.
We shot this video in a couple of days around DTLA, LAX, Venice and Vasquez Rocks. I wanted to challenge myself and storytell through a camera instead of my turntables.
I hope people like it!
Shot video to “Eastern Prayer,” a track from the upcoming Wondem album release with director Anthony Valadez (KCRW) and director of photography Holly Port (Thundercat, J*Davey). The compelling video treatment features territory crossing from the Westside to the Eastside of a Los Angeles-esque Urban cityscape in search of someone to whom I can pass my coveted possession. I ultimately succeed when I encounter lead vocalist Nia Andrews who is willing to carry the torch. This is Anthony Valadez’s directorial debut.
Artist: Dexter Story
Song: Eastern Prayer (Featuring Nia Andrews)
Label: Soundway Records
Video Director: Anthony Valadez
Director of Cinematography: Holly Port
Video Premiere: TBD
Album Release: October 23, 2015