We talk to the Cape Town-based drummer about his debut double album, unconventional style, and finding validation as an outsider.
With Dialectic Soul, the Capetonian artist, drummer and vocalist Asher Gamedze, who became known to many thanks to his appearance on the intense 15-minute track "Capetown" from Angel Bat Dawid's record The Oracle, makes his debut as a bandleader. Recorded live over the course of two days the album features an ensemble composed of Thembinkosi Mavimbela (bass), Buddy Wells (tenor sax), Robin Fassie-Kock (trumpet) and Nono Nkoane (voc). The album was release via On The Corner Records.
The result is a double album filled with progressive free jazz that is both raw and spiritual. Described by Asher himself as beying about continual motion, he explains that his composition "state of emergence suite" introduces the themes that constitute the album, with free drums representing autonomous African motion and the saxophone reflecting deeply and honestly on colonialism, the teachings of Coltrane, Steve Biko, Makeba and Malcom X and positive manifestations of resistance. "Fundamentally, it is about the reclamation of the historical imperative. It is about the dialect of the soul and the spirit while it moves through history. The soul is dialectic. Motion is imperative. We keep moving."
This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.