By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
He praises the Zawoses for helping him get closer to those unseen mysteries that he's on about these days. "When they get their sort of mesmerizing stuff together, it's like this shimmering sound that does feel like it's a platform or runway or gateway for something spiritual to happen. That's why I love their music, his and Charles' voices."
The Zawoses collaborated with Michael Brook on this year's Assembly, an unlikely though vibrant fusion of electronic trekking, Brook's infinite guitar, mutant Latin horn charts and the Tanzanians' Wagogo folk pluck. "That was easy and fun to do, as it was not difficult to get into the music," the Swahili-speaking Zawose said through an interpreter via e-mail from Tanzania. "Of course, this can go too far, but what I particularly like about Peter and Michael is that they bring the music together but keep separate the character and identity of the two styles and cultures."
After performing a short opening set, Hukwe says he'll be joining Gabriel and band to play an unreleased song called "Animal Nation." The vision for the new tune goes way beyond intercultural — it's an interspecies thing. "One of the things I'm most excited about was playing music with apes," Gabriel says. "I did this at the Language Research Center at Georgia State University [in Atlanta]; I went down there about five times. I was jamming with these bonobos in a way that I had not thought possible.
"They obviously hadn't spent time at the keyboard, but I had asked the main female, called Panbanisha, that I was working with just to play the white notes and to play with one finger." (Panbanisha is a 17-year-old bonobo with the most advanced language comprehension of any ape there; her name means "leave together for the purpose of contrast" in Swahili, according to the center's Web site.)
"She used one finger from both hands and started really feeling out the keyboard and fitting stuff into what I was singing. It was very moving . . . it just felt like jamming with a musician in the sense that there were moments when you knew you had something magical there, and other times it went flat . . . It made me question a lot of things, but it was an inspiration."