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Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra


NOMO’s roots are firmly planted in the fertile soil of African polyrhythm and American free jazz, and bandleader Elliot Bergman’s tracks draw inspiration from cultures and generations wildly different than his home setting. In many ways (at least geographically and sonically) NOMO are a distant relative of the TRIBE collective. Undoubtedly they carry the spirit of the legendary Detroit-label’s creative output.

NOMO were signed to Ubiquity through interest in their little-known self-titled debut album, and on the back of an onslaught of persuasive emails from their fans (including Sam Valenti IV of Ghostly International fame) that the band puts on a must-see live show. Raw propulsive rhythms and infectious melodies carry a horn section and multilayered percussion that is part Tom Ze, M.I.A., Philip Cohran, P-Funk, Antibalas, Tortoise and Harry Partch. Enigmatic Detroit producer Warren Defever was charged with capturing the band’s live energy, and he shaped the sounds for maximum impact....
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Nomo pushes the envelope and comes up with something truly special. This one conjures up trailblazers Brian Eno (circa Before and After Science) and Miles Davis (circa On the Corner) and is utterly astonishing. Still driven by horns and percussion, Nomo is in formidable form on Ghost Rock, one of the most audacious and spirited albums so far this year.

Whatever you call their music, it's got an infectious groove the makes it impossible to keep your hips from swaying.

NOMO mixes various strains of great black music into a single blazing sun of sound, and right from the distorted sounds of the amplified kalimba that open the CD, you know NOMO is going to hit you with a hip-swiveling blast of righteous Afro-funk.

Elliot Bergman's Nomo is one of the tightest, swingingest Afrobeat world-jazz bands on the planet.

It's party music of the first order, locking into a groove so deep you can practically feel the sweat.

When “Better Than That” came in with what sounded like a conga and a Coke bottle percussion duet I sat up on the futon, then I got smoked by both the ensuing free jazz saxophone solo and the mbira passage. I stayed with the music, all the way though to “The Seams” and “La La La”--the album's two brief final songs that masterfully explore both the band's astro potential and their sure-footed soul foundations.

Subtly shifting time signatures and grooves, and outfitted with more than capable soloists, Nomo sounds fresh in an otherwise saturated market.

Elliot Bergman leads these 17 Detroit musicians bangin' blowin' and honkin' through some funk and afrobeat hot enough to melt a Midwest blizzard.

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