I’ve been digging a lot of local dance music in recent weeks: Earlier this month, Will Eastman released this awesome remix of the Caribbean, and his buddy, Outputmessage, put out The Infinite Void, an infectious set of deep dance tunes that reach for outer space. On Monday, Hyattsville, Md., duo Ploy released “Friend of a Friend,” a lovelorn pop track that’s both catchy and yearning.
Then, yesterday, new D.C. label 1432 R dropped its first single ever, “Yarada Lij,” a majestic instrumental song from Mikael Seifu. Seifu is a relative unknown who creates so-called “Ethiopian electronic” music, which combines Ethiopian folk and British garage, according to an email. It’s an anything-goes number that aligns with the focus of 1432 R, which takes its name from the now-defunct Subterranean A punk house (1432 R St. NW was its address). “The music is so out there,” says Sami Yenigun, one of the label’s founders. “The goal is to just have a platform and have the artists’ music drive the vision.”
While it seems the label came out of nowhere, Yenigun says it’s been in the works for some time. He, along with partners Joyce Lim and Eric Tilden, received consultation from the stalwart Future Times label on how to launch and sustain the venture. Yenigun, who also used to DJ the Wild North parties at the Warehouse Loft, says 1432 R won’t go out of its way to be different. The music alone will do that.
“We’ve got a bunch of people who wanted to put out some weird music,” he says. “We just ask them to make it fearless and make it freaky.”
Listen to Seifu’s “Yarada Lij” below. His Yarada Lij EP is out July 1.