Ancients Speak

by Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Entity

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The myriad sounds on “Ancients Speak” (LiveWired Music), a boisterous new album by the bassist and programmer Melvin Gibbs, uniformly attest to an African continuum... A couple of the album’s most bluntly arresting tracks — “Represent do Rio,” featuring the rapper BNegão, and “Macumba,” with a growling chant by Totonho — convey a thrilling sense of cultural collision. Others, like “Canto por Odudua” and “Sun of Shango,” reach for murkier and more mysterious fusions. Either approach suits Mr. Gibbs handily.
New York Times

Based on creative ethnography – the manipulation of field recordings made at candomble houses in Bahia (Brazil) – Ancients Speak by Melvin Gibbs Elevated Entity is one of the most noteworthy recent recordings to explore the sonic synchronies of the Black Atlantic.
San Francisco Examiner

Listening to Melvin Gibbs' Elevated Entity and their new album Ancients Speak is like walking down the street in New York and unexpectedly falling into a manhole, only to discover there is an African-American underground music scene where the African diaspora has knocked down all barriers between genres, placing creativity on equal status with groove. Afrobeat is rubbing against Hendrix-style guitar solos, hip hop has gone to Bahia and come back with the most primal electronic beats. Afro-Cuban spirits intermingle with the Holy Spirit. It’s a riotous gathering of all things African.


released March 17, 2009

produced by Melvin Gibbs with Arto Lindsay and Kassin


all rights reserved



Melvin Gibbs Brooklyn, New York

Melvin Gibbs is a Grammy nominated composer, musician, artist, and writer, born, raised, and currently based in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has been called "the greatest bassist in the world" by Time Out New York magazine and was 2019 winner of JazzTimes Magazine's Critics Poll in the category: Electric Bass. ... more

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