Ethiopiques S/D

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
So I just heard a couple of tracks from these collections on the internet and want/need to get my hands on them. Alas, there are, what, 11 of these and my wallet can't handle the strain. Anyone have suggestions on which are the best? I'm mainly interested in the vocal tracks, so the all-instrumental ones are DQ'ed.

dave k, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

exotically soulful new answers, pleeease.

dave k, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Start with the extremely rocking Vol. 3, featuring Alemayehu Eshete and Hirut Beqele's kick-ass "Temeles" and Beqele's funk bomb "Yeqondjowotch mender." If you can't find that, Vol. 1 will do.

Douglas, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

definitely 3, or 1 as per the above. next, go for mahmoud ahmed's "ere mela mela" (and not the other one he did, which wasn't as good), volume 10 (blues and ballads) is a fantastic next step and after you've got 3 or 4 you'll want them all. the ones that are really different are 2 (i'm told - it's from the 90s and i haven't bought it yet) and 11, alemu aga playing the 'harp of king david,' which is basically very low, low string rumbling, the buzzing of the instrument's bridge and quiet, subtle singing. it's REALLY nice, sort of kind of like an ethiopian nick drake or someting.

your null fame, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Sign up with and you can download all 11 of them. Plus about a half million other CDs, too. And the artists get paid!! To date, I've only heard #8 of the Ethiopiques, "Swinging Addis", and I'd say it lives up to its name.

Curt, Friday, 11 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I actually prefer vol. 8 to vol. 3, though both are terrific. and vol. 1 is fine also.

after four or five listens, vols. 6 and 7 (single-artist both) really started to grate, though it's been a couple years since I played either; maybe I'd change my mind now. kinda doubt it, though.

M. Matos, Saturday, 12 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
for the sake of closure, i should add that i now have a handful of these. Volume 3 is tremendous and volume 10 - tezeta - is also fantastic. A beautiful Seyfou Yohannes track as well as more amazing Alemayehu Eshete stuff. Overlap with earlier stuff but such a nice grab-bag of stuff. so nice.

dave k, Saturday, 9 March 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
My favourite's long been number 4, which has heartbreakingly started to skip on me. I just picked up number 13, which I thought was the new one, though I learn there's also a 14 out (or soon to be out, someone lemme know). Anyway, I've just put it on and it is sounding very fine.

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 9 May 2003 00:42 (eighteen years ago) link

14 is out, and it's excellent. All recordings of Getatchew Mekurya, free-wailing yet non-Ayler/Coltrane influenced sax (often backed up by great, rhythmic organ). Mekurya's style developed out of a kind of tribal vocal warsong exercise, very strange, even Klezmer-y, but totally flying. This volume is definitely a favorite.

Brian Turner (btwfmu), Friday, 9 May 2003 02:48 (eighteen years ago) link

I gotta hear this. I don't think it's out in Canada yet, though (13's considered a new release).

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 9 May 2003 02:58 (eighteen years ago) link

This volume is probably my single favorite from the whole series. Though there is a bias as I grew up with his music and may be the biggest fan of Getachew on the planet. After hearing his stuff about 10 years ago (after a 15 year interval) I was blown away by this weird proto free-jazz style he’d developed on his own in the 50s and 60s.

At the time, his classic album (the one this this volume is based on tho it adds a few ultra-rare tracks) was out of print, (I was lucky enuf to have the vinyl) and very few ppl in Addis were still familiar with him. Though wenever I played him while DJing everyone loved it, he was still mostly forgotten. In the last few years though there has been a huge revival in his career, he’s playing weekly now, the rights to the album were acquired after years of trying (making this available) and this past January we were able to hold the album release party in Addis in the context of a festival dedicated to him as a tribute. The man has been playing for over 50 years and is a consummate performer and musician.

I’ve been raving abt the album on other threads and keep having to retrain myself so I don’t go overboard but to anyone who is interested in this series you have to but this disc.

I’ll dig up pictures from the festival and post ‘em later.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 10 May 2003 03:18 (eighteen years ago) link

Please do post pictures from the festival. I'd love to see them.

Jeff Sumner (Jeff Sumner), Saturday, 10 May 2003 04:33 (eighteen years ago) link

H., after reading your post, I want to hear this bad.

slutsky (slutsky), Saturday, 10 May 2003 06:02 (eighteen years ago) link

thank you slutsky, actually realized aferwards that my post was typo-ridden and felt that I didn't express how much I love and respect Getachew. If my post made you wanna listen to him then I'm happy.

Jeff - and anyone else- I realised when i pulled up disc that I have approx. 1000 pics from the festival (different sources) so it'll take me a day or so to pick some out. I also remembered I have a couple of video clips (i think recorded on Quicktime) but have no idea how to make 'em available if anyone is interested. If so, pls. let me know how post 'em. thx.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 10 May 2003 21:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, now I need to hear it too.

amateurist (amateurist), Sunday, 11 May 2003 00:42 (eighteen years ago) link

H, your post was great, and I can't wait to see some of this stuff. Also, I managed to hear a very quick snippet on Buda Music's site, and now I want to hear it even more.

I shouldn't buy any more CDs in the next couple of months, the way I've been going*, but I'm going to have to get this anyway.

* it'd be a lot more efficient if I just deposited my paycheque, withdrew it all in cash and threw it out the window

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:20 (eighteen years ago) link

it'd be a lot more efficient if I just deposited my paycheque, withdrew it all in cash and threw it out the window

What is your address? And is there a web site that tracks wind patterns in Quebec?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:22 (eighteen years ago) link

Uhh, I can't decide whether to make a bad joke about the worthlessness of Canadian currency or not. What do you think?

slutsky (slutsky), Tuesday, 13 May 2003 21:25 (eighteen years ago) link

ok, if anyone's interested here a few pics from the festival.

H (Heruy), Friday, 16 May 2003 15:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Great photos, H. I especially like the shots of Sosina GYesus and Fanaye Tesfay.

slutsky (slutsky), Friday, 16 May 2003 23:02 (eighteen years ago) link

Vol. 14 is absolutely killer. It's got an unmistakable Sun Ra vibe, maybe it's the lower-fi vampy organ. But it's also rhythmically very repetitive like Fela or dub, all the while that bluesy soulful sax overtop, like Coleman Hawkins. One track actually reminds me of Oneida's last record, with the long repetitive passages. One of the coolest things I've heard in awhile!

scott m (mcd), Thursday, 22 May 2003 17:59 (eighteen years ago) link

DAMN they better release it here soon.

slutsky (slutsky), Thursday, 22 May 2003 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Yay!! Getachew madness!

Actually, I'm working on putting a Europe & US tour for him as I belive so much in him and hearing positive stuff like this is essential in keeping me going against all the obstacles.

Funny seeing above post 'coz yesterday I actualy googled Sun Ra and Ethiopiques to see if anyone had seen any similarities with any of the stuff.

H (Heruy), Thursday, 22 May 2003 19:38 (eighteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Ah, here's that Ethiopiques thread.

I found Mahmoud Ahmed's Ere Mela Mela a while ago and it's great.

I am interested in reading more about the history of Ethiopian music, specifically the relationship between the music and Ethiopian culture/politics/geography. Has anyone found any web resources, books, or articles that are insightful?

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 06:53 (seventeen years ago) link


More sounds ...

Dock Miles (Dock Miles), Tuesday, 20 January 2004 08:31 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
Has anyone heard 18?

mcd (mcd), Friday, 30 April 2004 01:52 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...

I am looking for information on Hirut Beqele, but have found only mentions of her participation in Ethiopiques.

Anybody have links?

(hi Mark)

thanks, sydney

sydney, Monday, 23 August 2004 23:24 (seventeen years ago) link

i never picked up the getachew cd :(

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 23 August 2004 23:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Don't let it get atcha.

Rockist_Scientist (rockist_scientist), Monday, 23 August 2004 23:47 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...
Just picked up vol. 13 and it's the best thing I've thing I've heard all year (although I know I'm kinda late to the party....).
So from this thread I gather that vol. 1 and 3 should be next on my list.

Baaderonixxx le Jeune (Fabfunk), Saturday, 20 November 2004 17:07 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
As a result of this thread I bought volume 14 "Getatchew Mekurya : Negus of Ethiopian Sax" - stunning!

paul c (paul c), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:43 (sixteen years ago) link

Isn't it though? What an amazing disc.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:49 (sixteen years ago) link

I can't get that tenor sound out of my head! Sometimes harsh, other times tender. The icing on the cake is the Ray Manzarek-y organ sound!

paul c (paul c), Saturday, 29 January 2005 21:51 (sixteen years ago) link

i gotta get that one

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 29 January 2005 22:33 (sixteen years ago) link

love this series SO MUCH

owen reading, Saturday, 29 January 2005 22:34 (sixteen years ago) link

well, just finished this round of the ethiopian music festival just over a week ago, will post pics from that when i get a chance.

Getachew spent part of last fall touring with The Ex and the ICP Orchestra for the 25th anniversary of The Ex. went great from all reports and they want to keep up the collaborations.

for those who are interested, for last year's festival i had invited Boston based big band Either/Orchestra and they'll be playing with Mulatu Astatqe (featured on Vol. 4) at Joe's Pub in NYC on March 15, def. well worth going to.

H (Heruy), Monday, 31 January 2005 06:09 (sixteen years ago) link

Will anyone be coming down to D.C. in March as well? There's a large Ethiopian population here, but I sometime miss out on getting the postcards left at certain Ethipian shops and restaurants advertising upcoming gigs.

steve-k, Monday, 31 January 2005 14:03 (sixteen years ago) link

the Either/Orchestra Mulatu show should be hitting DC as well, tho no date has been set yet. also i made a mistake above, the date for NYC was actually Mon. March 14

H (Heruy), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:18 (sixteen years ago) link

one month passes...
to remind any in the NYC area who might be interested abt the Mulatu Astatqe & Either/Orchestra show. since they met at the festival for which I brought Either/Orchestra over to Addis, having this ongoing collab makes me happy. plus the DJ spinning is an old childhood friend.

posting the press release below and for anyone who can't make but is interested there is a full concert they did together in the WNYC online archives. think the date was Nov. 12 2004.

Steve, there is supposed to be a March 18,19 show but venue is not set yet afaik


Monday March 14
9:30 PM & 11:30 PM

Featured artists include:
Mulatu Astatke

One of Ethiopia's major musicians, Mulatu Astatke studied in London, Boston and New York, in the late 1950s and returned home to invent Ethio-jazz, which stands with various South African and Nigerian styles as the most successful fusion of jazz and African music. Astatke is most notably featured in the acclaimed Ethiopiques series Vol. 4. The Grammy- Nominated Either/Orchestra is among the longest running and highly respected large ensembles in jazz. Since 1985, under the direction of saxophonist/composer Russ Gershon, the ten-piece has traversed the length and breadth of jazz to make unexpected connections between styles and approaches to music, including Ethiopian music and jazz.

In early 2004, as the first US big band to play in Ethiopia since Duke Ellington in 1973, the E/O met and collaborated with Mulatu. It was a match made in heaven, or at least in Addis Ababa! Since this meeting the two have performed together several times in the US building upon recorded Ethiopian explorations in E/O’s hit albums, afro-cubism and More Beautiful Than Death, “an album so jaw-droppin', eyes buggin' and head-shakingly good that it takes your breath away...” Snap Pop.

Don’t miss your chance to see this beautiful collaboration. "Mulatu Astatke's distinct brand of Ethiopian music features some of the most soulful hip-grinding instrumentals ever recorded in Mother Africa."-John Ballon, Musthear Reviews "One of the most innovative large ensembles in jazz for almost 20 years...[the Either/Orchestra] is still pushing the envelope." New York Newsday

Before and after sets, Downtown Manhattan's Ethiopian-born, female DJ/Producer Timaj Sukker, spins Nomadic beats, in which eclectic global rhythms are interwoven into a singular holistic adventure.

H (Heruy), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:01 (sixteen years ago) link

mahmoud ahmed's "ere mela mela" is in my amazon saved items right now.

Don't Ever Antagonize The Horny (AaronHz), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:35 (sixteen years ago) link

where's the show, h?

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Thursday, 3 March 2005 16:51 (sixteen years ago) link

March 14, 9:30 pm
Joe's Pub, New York City, with special guest Mulatu Astatke

March 18, 19
Washington DC, with Mulatu Astatke, venue TBA

steve-k, Thursday, 3 March 2005 20:39 (sixteen years ago) link

six months pass...
Very high thanks to JJarmusch for putting this stuff in Broken Flowers. I'm searching now!

peepee (peepee), Friday, 16 September 2005 01:54 (sixteen years ago) link

Either/Orchestra & Mulatu Astatke will be playing the record release party for Ethiopiques Vol. 20
Oct. 13 @ Joe's Pub, NYC and
@ The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge MA, on Friday October 21

more info here

H (Heruy), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:42 (sixteen years ago) link

I only have #13, but it kicks ass. I need more of these.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:55 (sixteen years ago) link

13 is still my fave, so so good. extremely strange when stoned too

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 September 2005 14:57 (sixteen years ago) link

I put it on when a bunch of Chicago ILXors were at my apartment, thinking it was awesome party music, and a couple of them complained and made me change it. They didn't like Gang Gang Dance either. You just can't please some people.

n/a (Nick A.), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:07 (sixteen years ago) link


Those people only like what they hear on Top 40 radio.

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:08 (sixteen years ago) link

the lack of specific praise on this thread for alemayehu eshete is astounding - number 9, folks, number 9! "telantena zare" completely, utterly slays.

Zack Richardson (teenagequiet), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:35 (sixteen years ago) link

So, #13 is good, I have #1 and parts of others. They're all on emusic, aren't they?

simian (dymaxia), Friday, 16 September 2005 15:57 (sixteen years ago) link

My article on Hailu Mergia who was in Walias Band and guitarist Selam Seyoum Woldemariam who was in Roha Band and backed Mahmoud Ahmed. Both live in the Washington DC area now

curmudgeon, Thursday, 30 April 2020 23:13 (one year ago) link

whoa you can get the 3 hailu reissues there on CD for $25 total, that rules

brimstead, Friday, 1 May 2020 18:49 (one year ago) link


curmudgeon, Friday, 1 May 2020 22:34 (one year ago) link

Ayalew Mesfin ‎– Lene Anchi Bicha Nesh

budo jeru, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 20:11 (one year ago) link


This may have been have been posted already, but it's beautiful.

brownie, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 21:20 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

This is so great.

brownie, Wednesday, 10 June 2020 19:18 (one year ago) link

Both of those last two tracks you posted are wonderful.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 June 2020 04:12 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

How did I never see this BBC Under African Skies one hour doc about Ethiopia before? Filmed in 1984, it starts with Aster Aweke in DC and then jumps back to Ethiopia and covers traditional music, religious music, and secular . Walias Band, Roha Band, Alemayehu Ashete and more

curmudgeon, Saturday, 5 September 2020 02:41 (one year ago) link

xp to that brownie post of the Ali Mohammed Birra song - I listened to that a few times in July after it was posted in June, dug it well enough (as I do most Ethiopiques recommendations), and then sometime a month ago in the early morning hours as I was coming out of a dream and got stuck in that annoying half-dream/half-wake phase where you become aware of the weird quickly-repeating themes/scenes at the end of your dream (or whatever it's like for other people), I kept replaying the horn opening to that "Si Inbanbinsin Warri" song without remembering who it was. There's usually always at least one song from the previous day left rattling around in my subconscious every night, and that was it, but a mystery. I spent a while the next night going through everything new I'd listened to recently, and when I finally eureka'd THAT song, it was such a big ol victory that I did my dishes with the whole album cranked, super into it, a triumph for the spirit of ILM.

along those lines I want to put here the first track from what Stevolende put on the What Are You Listening to? 2020 thread, a newly reissued Sharhabil Ahmed (the Sudanese Freddie King maybe) album that I do believe rules

the burrito that defined a generation, Saturday, 5 September 2020 03:14 (one year ago) link

I couldn't find a recording date for the music on the Sharhabil Ahmed cd , liner notes refer to a 1963 e.p. with a couple of tracks whose titles may be different spellings of tracks on the cd. But it did really strike me that that cd does sound like an earlier point in the development of music I'm hearing in the Ethiopiques series. I could do with hearing more of the traditional music from the areas they're right next to each other and both will have interacted with the Arab world though their location on the coast of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
Anyway love both.

The French company that put out the Ethiopiques series also put out Zanzibara which I have 3 discs from which are pretty good. Not sure how well known that 2nd series is.

Stevolende, Saturday, 5 September 2020 09:06 (one year ago) link

Listening to Eritrean traditional singer & krar player Amleset Abay . She moved to DC at some point & had a restaurant where she and other musicians performed in early 1980s ( that I sadly didn’t know of at the time)

curmudgeon, Sunday, 6 September 2020 19:38 (one year ago) link

there was some traditional ethiopian music that they played on that bbc4 programme, on an instrument called a begena, and it sounded unearthly

koogs, Sunday, 6 September 2020 20:12 (one year ago) link

see also:

sleeve, Sunday, 6 September 2020 23:16 (one year ago) link

In 1984 some Ethiopians living in the DC area borrowed some $ and recorded an album as Admas and pressed a 1000 copies. Decades later they were selling for a lot on Ebay. A Danish collector living in NYC tracked them down after he bought a copy on Ebay, and he reissued the album. 3 of the band members are back in Ethiopia. 1 tours as Teddy Afro's keyboardist, one is a producer, the other is a music educator.

The album is mostly instrumental and starts with a loungey golden era Ethiopia type track, and has one track with a reggae feel, another with a Brazilian jazz samba portion, and funkier one and one has vocals

curmudgeon, Monday, 7 September 2020 03:33 (one year ago) link

I have the Ethiop[iques volume with the Harp of Kind David , not listened to it in years. I heard that begena and assumed it was going to be the same instrument and googling it links it back to an ancient instrument linked to Israel the kinnor which was what David played to KIng Saul.

Dig the buzz.

Stevolende, Monday, 7 September 2020 08:35 (one year ago) link

dang, the reissued LP is already sold out! i like it too, thanks for the tip!

Karl Malone, Monday, 7 September 2020 15:20 (one year ago) link

This website is a good source for golden era Ethiopian music and the various labels it was issued on (pre-Ethiopiques)

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 8 September 2020 01:22 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Seeing on Facebook, twitter, & IG that bassist Melake Gebre from the Walias Band has died from cancer at age 71. Am pretty sure he played bass on a great rendition of “Musicawi Silt” by Walias Band arranged by Girma Beyene & including Hailu Mergia on keyboards

curmudgeon, Friday, 4 December 2020 22:46 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

respect, melake.☮


i realized recently that the last physical music i purchased was the latest fleet foxes album and that has yet to actually be shipped to me, so i went over to and bought every volume of this that they had currently in stock after years of only knowing volume 4. the ones that happened to be in stock at amoeba were volumes 1, 3, and 17. currently halfway through the tlahoun gèssèssè set and just considering buying up the rest of the series and listening to nothing except this music for the rest of my life.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 1 February 2021 22:11 (seven months ago) link

you could def do worse w/r/t "rest of life" listening

Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Monday, 1 February 2021 22:13 (seven months ago) link

if they do a box set of the complete series, i'm there.

and they should, btw. if someone can do those ridiculous sets for pink floyd demos and outtakes, a complete ethiopiques set seems like a cinch.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 1 February 2021 22:27 (seven months ago) link

This series is like sushi to me. Not my favorite food in the world but I could happily eat it everyday.

tobo73, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 15:42 (seven months ago) link

for me its one of those things where i wont think about it for a long time, but then when i get in the mood it's all I want to listen to for days. and there always seem to be volumes that I haven't gotten around to (or at least didnt absorb the last time i binged). one of these days i really need to go on discogs and just cop them all so i can line them up on my shelf all nice

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 15:58 (seven months ago) link

so yeah. . . just decided to hit up another vendor (this time importcds) and got one of everything they had in stock. this is volumes: 6, 7, 8, 13, and 28.


Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 2 February 2021 16:59 (seven months ago) link

importcds' 20% off when you spend $60+ deal has roped me in many, many times

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 18:11 (seven months ago) link

dude. . . volume 28.

omg how great is this

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 15 February 2021 18:52 (seven months ago) link

i haven't heard that one!

I wish there were LPs, boxes, mini-boxes, and also mega-boxes

Zach_TBD (Karl Malone), Monday, 15 February 2021 18:59 (seven months ago) link

I'm on Nagatti si jedha right now, love it of course :D

having just bought some synths, i'm curious which ones they're using

Zach_TBD (Karl Malone), Monday, 15 February 2021 19:12 (seven months ago) link

x-post -- yeah Ali Birra is great. Oromo legend.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 03:17 (seven months ago) link

nothing new to add. finally just got volume 13 and it's absolutely killer.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 25 February 2021 18:01 (six months ago) link


holy hell, how do any of the musicians manage to keep their respective grooves?????

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Thursday, 25 February 2021 18:52 (six months ago) link

god yes its so wild, 13 is one of my favorites... i put it on a few weeks ago while i was installing some flooring and had to take it off because trying to concentrate on anything else while listening to those grooves kept making me flustered and confused

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:09 (six months ago) link

Oh yeah 13 Ethiopian groove has Walias Band doing “Muziqawi Silt” I think. That’s a classic that a number of musicians and groups cover

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 18:36 (six months ago) link

I especially love the polyrhythmic switches from straighter single claps to swung/off-time double claps towards the ends of many songs on the Tigrigna/Eritrean one, Vol. 5:

Kangol In The Light (Craig D.), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 20:39 (six months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Ali Birra , Mahmoud Ahmed ( Ethiopiques #7 ) and non Ethiopiques Aster Aweke all first came out on Ali “Tango” Kaifa ‘s Kaifa records . Sadly , Ali Kaifa has just passed , I see on Facebook. His role has been analogized to Ahmet Ertegun at Atlantic, and Berry Gordy at Motown. Here’s a 2016 article on him:

curmudgeon, Sunday, 28 March 2021 15:53 (five months ago) link

Label owner Ali Tango Kaifa didn’t get enough acclaim outside Ethiopia . RIP

curmudgeon, Monday, 29 March 2021 15:33 (five months ago) link

RIP Gash Ayele Mamo, Ethiopian mandolin player and songwriter who played a big role in classic Ethiopiques music

curmudgeon, Friday, 9 April 2021 18:07 (five months ago) link

This was one of my favorites of 2020: To Know Without Knowing, by Mulatu Astatke w Melbourne-based Black Jesus Experience, incl. trad Ethiopian and Aboriginal songs, among other elements

whole thing is here:

dow, Friday, 9 April 2021 18:22 (five months ago) link

And The Rough Guide to Ethiopian Jazz was my gateway:

01 Mulatu Astatke: Gamo 05:12
02 Akalé Wubé: Alègntayé 04:17
03 The Budos Band: Origin Of Man 04:52
04 Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Friends: Ambassel 07:36
05 Tesfa Maryam Kidane: Heywete 05:13
06 Tlahoun Gessesse: Aykedashem Lebe 04:56
07 Samuel Yirga: Firma Ena Wereket 06:55
08 Gabriella Ghermandi: Be Kibir 08:16
09 Emahoy Tsegue-Maryal Guebrou: The Homeless Wanderer 07:05

Total Playing Time: 54:42

dow, Friday, 9 April 2021 18:28 (five months ago) link

xp yes that Mulatu/BJE record is excellent

I like signing up to dead sites (sleeve), Friday, 9 April 2021 18:29 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Another great Ethiopian producer / label owner gone: RIP Amha Eshete, whose Amha Records was notable. He also helped Walias band members after he fled to the US

curmudgeon, Sunday, 2 May 2021 16:11 (four months ago) link

Earlier bio of Amha Eshete covering his years as a pioneering Ethiopian producer and label owner, plus touching on his later years after he fled to Washington DC and started the Blue Nile and the Ibex restaurant/ clubs.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 2 May 2021 16:35 (four months ago) link

Another article on Amha Eshete ‘s Ethiopian years.

Both of these articles were penned earlier, and are not obits .

curmudgeon, Sunday, 2 May 2021 16:38 (four months ago) link

Funeral is Tuesday in Ethiopia. Fans of classic Ethiopian golden era music having to deal with deaths of Kaifa, Mamo, and Eshete now over a very short span.

curmudgeon, Monday, 3 May 2021 15:49 (four months ago) link

man. so grateful to know about this music and all of those amazing people.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Monday, 3 May 2021 17:18 (four months ago) link

four weeks pass...

Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band Tezeta is being re-released on June 4, the band’s first full-length album that was originally released in 1975.

Below is from press release and liner notes

Virtually unheard(-of) outside Ethiopia—and extremely rare locally—the cassette-only release came out on the band’s own label housed in their record shop in the mid-70s. This is a historic record of one of the most interesting and pioneering bands of the “golden age” of Ethiopian popular music. The music is absolutely bonkers despite the sound quality.

FYI—Walias were the house band at the Hilton, Addis’ legendary high-end hotel, where they played nightly. They recorded the album in the nightclub itself and pressed the tape in Athens. The music beautifully encapsulates the way bands were re-vamping traditional music into soulful new renditions, and the Walias were THE instrumental-focused band of the era, breaking ground on so many levels (see notes below).

The record includes archival photos, interview content with former hotel staff and an essay by a long-time knowledgable fan and ATFA friend Tessema Tedele. Audio is carefully extracted and remastered from one of the only known original copies of the tape by the engineer we have worked with on every release, Jessica Thompson.

Odds are, any Ethiopian over the age of 35 who had access to TV or radio by the early 90s, will instantly recognize the sound of Walias. What is not a given is, how many would actually identify the band itself. Barely a day went by without hearing the Walias either in the background on radio or as an accompaniment to various programs on TV. Their music was so ubiquitous in media that most of us who enjoyed it never bothered to go out and look for it. Gradually, they started to slip out of public consciousness by the early 90s when newer works by bands such as Roha and Axumite were favored. Only then did those of us feeling a certain sense of loss started inquiring about "that music from TV" at record stores. Yet, most of their work remains stubbornly elusive.

This "Tezeta" album is one of those that have been impossible to find for nearly three decades. Sourced by Awesome Tapes From Africa and expertly remastered by Jessica Thompson, its unique and funky renditions of standards and popular songs of the day are so quintessentially Walias, flavorful and evocative. Hailu's melodic organ, unashamedly front and center in every track, makes even the complex pieces accessible. The stirringly distinct opening riff from "Zengadyw" took me right back to a certain time in my youth. Deliciously vivid, it's a time capsule in and of itself. "Gumegum" is a definite favorite. The vocal version, most popularly sang by the legendary Hirut Bekele, tells of unrequited love - an over-exploited theme in music of the time. "Tezeta" is the traditional anthem of nostalgia that doing a version of it was, for a long time, a rite of passage for any aspiring musician. "Endegena" (To Love Again), is a sleepy ballad by Mahmoud Ahmed getting a zesty uplift here. "Ou-Ou-Ta" is one of the signature songs of the greatest of them all, Tilahun Gessesse.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 1 June 2021 03:53 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

RIP the “Ethiopian Elvis” “Alemayehu Eshete. Some of his 1969 to 1974 songs are on Ethiopiques #9

curmudgeon, Sunday, 5 September 2021 02:13 (one week ago) link


I thought this revive was going to be about this interview with Mulatu Astatke:

o. nate, Thursday, 9 September 2021 21:03 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.