Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chris Berry - King of Me.

 A new Press Release from KSK:


Chris Berry's Long-Awaited Album, King of Me

 Grammy Award winner, Chris Berry has long been known for his work with Zimbabwean super group, Pangea.  With over a dozen albums under his belt, this dynamic artist is releasing one of his most exciting albums yet. The long-awaited King of Me is now available from KSK Records.

To hear sample tracks or buy this album, check out our online store:

Chris Berry’s latest record is all about breaking down the barriers between contemporary Western beats and traditional Zimbabwean Shona Music. The album centers around the Mbira, which Berry has electrified, expanding the instrument’s tonal range and allowing Chris to single handedly fill the roles traditionally assigned to a lead guitar, bass and a keyboard.

King of Me also includes the creative efforts of Ivorian power house kit player, Abou Diarrassouba (The Mighty Diamonds, The Wailers) and features tracks that include the eclectic New York Based, Brazilian Girls. The album was produced by KSK Records and recorded at System Krush Studios in the Sierra Foothills. It was mixed and mastered by producer Aja Salvatore and renowned sound engineer Oz Fritz (Herby Hancock, Bob Marley, Tom Waits, Les Claypool) at Prairie Sun Studios.

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I had fun mixing this.  What the Press Release doesn't mention is that Shona music has a lot of vocal harmonies. This is harmonically rich sounding music.  The different mbira parts sound at times like delicate cascading waterfalls of harmonies and glissandos.  Chris' lyrics reveal a searcher for Truth. 

I am always interested in the environment the mixing occurs in, what kind of atmosphere surrounds it?  In a surprising move that I wouldn't have suggested, Chris and his partner went camping in the Hawaiian jungle the first day we started mixing not too far from where the filming of the TV series Lost took place.  He also wished to be involved with the mix decisions.  So when we got a mix done we would FTP him a .wav file of it and he would check it through his IPhone.  He must of had a good pair of ear buds because he was able to tell us exactly what he wanted.

Anyone who likes melodic, African music will enjoy this album.  This music is also a weapon of the present.  A weapon for peace and goodwill.


  1. Oz,

    Does it seem to you that African music is the most neglected kind of music in the U.S.? It's pretty easy to find people who listen to all kinds of music, but finding folks who listen to African pop is hard. I listen to a little bit, but I don't know much about it.

  2. It's starting to get better, but there's been a small and enthusiastic audience for awhile. We are working on a documentary of West African music from Mali that should hopefully make it more well-known. They're trying to finish it this year, been working on it for four or five years now.