Ariwo are a quartet that charts strange waters “the unexplored intersection between electronic and Afro-Cuban folkloric music” type waters. With members from Cuba and Iran, their heart pumps a propulsive and raw Cuban rumba underneath a melancholic and bass-heavy electro-Iranian beat– and it’s clubby yet folkloric vibe works.
The word Ariwo means “Noise” in Yoruba. The name was selected to underline the band’s emphasis on sound and its desire to combine traditional rhythms into a live electronic performance that challenges perceptions of ancestral music, and connects diverse cultures from around the world.
The band is made up of Iranian electronic composer, Pouya Ehsaei [Entr’acte], and three of London’s most influential Cuban musicians: Oreste Noda [Sambroso Sambroso], Yelfris Valdes [Sierra Maestra] and Latin Grammy winner, Hammadi Valdes [Carlos Acosta / Irakere]. Pouya processes their live instruments while creating soundscapes and hypnotic rhythms that draw influence from the folkloric music of Cuba and his home city of Tehran. [Manana Cuba]
Whatever you make of it, I think it’s pretty fresh…
Back in 2016, I was so deep in the click-hole I didn’t even know how I’d gotten to the website I was on, and no it wasn’t that part of the internet. I had landed on the Boiler Room website and stumbled across a broadcast so damn interesting that I’d spend a good two hours trying to find more of what I was hearing.
As it turns out, that was the debut of a seriously fascinating band called Ariwo. And now, two years removed from their unveiling, they’ve got a new self titled EP that’s one of the best things I’ve heard all year.