THE INVISIBLE SESSION – Echoes of Africa

The Invisible Session – The journey continues

After several years of silence since their eponymously titled 2006 release, Schema Records co-founder Luciano Cantone in collaboration with Gianluca Petrella and a new group of musicians, present The Invisible Session’s second album Echoes of Africa, published on the newly created Space Echo label.

This new chapter is borne out of a deep appreciation of African music. The impeccable rhythmic execution of the Ethiopian drummer and percussionist Abdissa “Manba” Assefa, the musical and spiritual contribution of the Gambian kora player Aruna “Jalimansa” Kuyateh, as well as the Afro-American Joyce Elaine Yuille, were an inspiration during the recording for other musicians who took part in it, giving rise to a unique emotion and sense of landscape

The points of departure are afrobeat, the recordings of Africa 70 and the drumming of Tony Allen which together inform the rhythmic scope of Echoes of Africa. Other influences come into play, with melodies centred on Eastern pentatonic scales, as well as funk, afrobeat, psychedelia, modal and Ethio jazz. There are even forays into pop and cinematica. But it is the ancestral melodies that intersect and weave that form the basis of this album, encouraging escape and deeper feelings.

With the influence of greats such as the vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke and an educational study of Ethiopian music, the composition “Journey To The East” was born, with a melody built on the major Bati Lydian scale –a pentatonic scale with particular intervals whose influence comes from the Middle East. Ethiopia is also present in “Entoto” and “Breathe the Rhythm” – two new works written entirely by trombonist and multi-instrumentalist Gianluca Petrella.

Although it may seem speculative given the recent news events that took place on May 25 in Minneapolis, “Hearing The Call” was conceived and written in 2018 from the inspiration of the poem present in “Children” by Haki R. Madhubuti on the Medasi album called “Nation”. A theme that in the eyes of the producer had been floating in the air for some time and that, beyond colours or political parties, involves everyone if oppressed by racism, homophobia and policies that do not protect human rights. Here improvisation is replaced with ancestral and mythical sounds and combined with modal sounds. Mystical effects and percussion attract and hypnotize the listener, while the performance of the poem, written and interpreted by the young African American / Finnish artist Benjamin “Bentality” Paavilainen, floats with relaxed naturalness

The Invisible Session dealt with themes of climate change with ‘’To the powerful’’ from the self-titled debut album released on Schema Records in 2006. This track was a prayer of sorts with an Afro-jazz hypnotic groove, addressed to the leaders of the world to preserve our Mother Earth, reinforcing the need to keep the right balance of the elements. The new songs ‘’Ideas Can Make the World’’ and ‘’People All Around The World Can Make It’’, with their strong afrobeat/funk personality, are intoxicants, choral aphorisms, reminiscent of American funk bands of the ‘70s. It doesn’t take much to change direction, to erase the negative effects caused by the recent years’ globalisation,…We can Make it! 

Further reflections on this theme can be found in ‘’Mother Forgive Us’’, with lyrics and interpretation channelled once again through the young Bentality.

This is an album to be absorbed in its entirety – have a good listening!

Lyrics written by Martin Thomas Paavilainen

Hearing The Call
Where is the black man, the first women and men
u forgot us and you bit the feeding hand,
went swimming in the oceans, drank the potions, and mimmiced our emotions.
But become afraid if we come closer,
Isn’t it strange like the fruit of the southern tree, black blood on the leaves,
rather see us dead than living free, physical and mental captivity,
the strange fruit ain’t sweet, how could you forget about us,
was it because u had to bow for us,
now this building my father built ain’t allowed to us,
what happened to the self confidence of the black men,
destroyed by your laws of attraction,
brainwashed since back then, but it’s time to think dirty,
we are strong ambitious beautiful black women and men,
the worlds biggest inspiration, original nation,
waking up to the call is highly contagious, but its only dangerous,
to the black mans haters, I can hear the call, and no longer fear at all,
face the man in charge, tell him here we are, (repeat.)

Yes I can hear the call, you could cut both my ears off,
and I would still hear the call, even if it drives you insane,
I keep my hands on the wheel in the car,
and if we build a wall we can brake down a wall,
shake away the thought, of us not being great cuz its wrong,
can’t be afraid to be involved, haters will either wish us harm or keep wishing us harm,
most of our leaders are long gone, I wonder where the new ones are?
We here, we black, we strong, and we hear the call!


Mother Forgive us
I pray that its not too late,
I pray we find away to escape, this climate change,
I pray that its not our faith, the world is on fire,
I pray for rain, the world is poisoned, send antidote this way,
we gotta be afraid of the hate, afraid of the food on my plate,
now we gotta be afraid of the air. All this fear is alot for the brain,
so we consume to release stress, literally get rid of it and let it spread,
we have alot more for way less effort, we can turn a forest to a desert,
and believe the money will make it better, we over here expectin to live forever,
if were so clever, than why we letting our planet head to the shredder,
are we the ones to blame or is it our parents, what does it help to blame,
how does it soothe the pain, if we all going down the drain,
were busy spying on the neighbour, and if she dont love you dont mean u gotta hate her,
we look different but suffer the same way, u can change anyday.
Dont say its too late, when really it aint!
”This morning I woke up in a curfew, oh I felt like a prisoner too”
last week they said it was only a flu, now they say it might kill you,
and nobody got a clue on what we need to do.
Right now I could care less of the president. is the least of my worries,
the stores are running out of supplys I need to hurry, we all seen enough movies for this to be scary,
media is feeding on the fear saying this is deadly!
Cant say we didnt see it Coming, for some finally its karma.
Its interesting, how the planet is resting when the human race is tested,
we spread like an infection, is this a lesson, if we say we learned it can we get blessed again,
forgive us mother earth, for we do not understand our worth, is there a purpose that we serve, or are we just here to feed the worms, is it even knowledge we deserve,

Gasoline, oil spills, forest fires, endangered species, aeroplanes, plastic waste, toxic waste, polluted air, bacteria, viruses, radiation, disease, illness, poverty, violence, fear. Greed, low selfesteem, jealousy, envy, hate, addiction, the victim, the planet we live in, Betrayal, abuse, destruction, were confused, Lies, death.

Mother forgive us for we know not what we have done
Father forgive them for they know not what they have done