Mikael Seifu is an Ethiopian electronic music producer committed to “Ethiopiyawi Electronic” – a coinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Seifu attended the French school Lycee Guebre-Mariam as a child, and went on to study music production & the music industry at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a small school about 45 minutes outside of Manhattan. Here Seifu met a mentor in Ben Neill, the composer and music technologist who trained with La Monte Young. Seifu was inspired by Neil to take serious his calling in music.
Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music. Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing. Seifu’s passion above all else is to create something befitting of its time, yet “eternally Ethiopian.” The latter phrase was the mantra guiding Seifu through the creation of Zelalem, his debut EP on RVNG.
Zelalem, follows 2015’s “The Lost Drum Beat” and its B-side, the 13-minute epic, “Brass,” which was released on Washington, D.C. label 1432 R, after his 2014 debut Yarada Lij.
Erin Rioux (pronounced ‘ree-yoo’) is a young American artist, producer, and performer born in Metro Detroit. His work under his last name explores the human experience through a mashup of opposing forces––nature/technology, light/dark, minimal/maximal, masculine/feminine––in a surrealist form. Bursting with detail, Rioux’s labyrinthine productions follow a stream-of-consciousness narrative, breathing life into his electronic process with reimagined approaches to vocals, guitar, and improvisation. Ranging from long-form dancefloor instrumentals to ambient and avant-pop, Rioux’s output is decidedly unpredictable, resisting categorization. His solo EPs System Preferences and Evolver were released with accompanying virtual environments and his collaborative LP with Trinidadian astrophysicist Stephon Alexander and Arto Lindsay Here Comes Now sonified quantum phenomena to critical acclaim. Rioux is a co-founder of the experimental New York label and event series, Human Pitch.