New Order

Agape embraces a world beyond worldbeat

I met Nadia [Harris] when she came into the studio one day and we started drumming," says Agape founder Erick Paredes. "I was blown away. We connected immediately."

Two and a half years later, Agape (pronounced ah-gah-pay) has been doling out cool down-tempo, electro, and worldbeat vibes. Agape produces the same kind of sound you might expect from long-established acts such as Black Star Liner, Tosca, or Thievery Corporation, but with less tablas and more dub -- lots more. It's a fact not lost on the folks behind Rhythm Foundation, who hired the group to open for recent shows by Federico Aubele and Brazilian Girls. In each instance, Agape stole a little thunder from the headliner.

Piloted by producer/DJ Paredes, Agape features singer Harris, percussionist Sammy Figueroa, guitarist Kevin "Buffalo" Brown, Andrew Ruiz on violin, and Spam Allstars trombonist Chad Bernstein. "The music is dub throughout," says Paredes, "which stems from Nadia's Jamaican background and our love for deep heavy bass lines and tape delays." With their backgrounds -- Paredes was born in Peru and raised in the Bronx, while Harris is a born and bred Rasta -- Agape's Pan-American, dub-heavy sound comes naturally. And with Harris's sweet, lilting voice, singing themes of oneness, love, and hope for a troubled world, Agape is a chill pill for the weary soul.

 
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