The band brings together POUYA EHSAEI - hailed as belonging “in that precious pile” of Iranian electronic music composers - and 3 of London’s most influential Cuban musicians; Irakere’s Latin Grammy winning “percussion virtuoso”, HAMMADI VALDES; Sierra Maestra lead trumpeter, YELFRIS VALDES; and godfather of London’s Cuban scene, ORESTE NODA.
The word “ariwo” means “noise” in Yoruba, a West-African religion that came to Cuba during the transatlantic slave trade and heavily influenced the island’s musical development. Whether it is genres like Yambú, Songo, Guaguancó or Changüí, it is the fusion of these complex Afro-Cuban rhythms and syncopations with live electronic processes that forms the building blocks for the bands first album.
For the Cuban musicians in particular, Ariwo is about shining a light on the incredible cultural heritage that resounds through the barrios of Havana, Matanzas and Guantánamo. In order to capture this raw musical energy, EHSAEI programs his electronics and processes the instrumentation live, constantly changing the intensity to create a real-time dialogue that elevates these rich ancestral traditions, pushing them beyond traditional Cuban and Iranian identity to create a sound that no longer belongs to any specific culture.