Saturday, July 23, 2016

Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - Sensual Breeze [ethiopia]

Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 01 - Shemendefer (ሸመንደፈር) (4:40)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 02 - YeSergachin Elet (የሰርጋችን ዕለት) (6:14)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 03 - Ewedishalhu (እወድሻለሁ) (4:45)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 04 - Mela Fikire Maleda (መላፍቅሬ ማለዳ) (5:19)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 05 - BeChilanchil (በጭላንጭል) (4:54)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 06 - Eyasie (እያሴ) (5:20)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 07 - Enchin Mesay (እንችን መሳይ) (5:48)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 08 - Flagot Betnifash (ፍላጎት በትንፋሽ) (5:01)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 09 - Ethiopia (ኢትዮጵያ) (4:47)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 10 - Gomu - Lembo (ጎሙሌምቦ) (3:36)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 11 - Set Lij Lebalua (ሴት ልጅ ለባሏ) (4:44)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 12 - Gurage Mood (ጉራጌ ሙድ) (5:18)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 13 - Mela Belu (መላ በሉ) (6:57)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 14 - Aykelon Eye (አይክእሎን እየ) (4:40)
Daniel Gashaw aka Dani Boy - 15 - Amharic Instrumental (5:16)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ali Birra - With Ibex Band [1974] [ethiopia]

Ali Birra (standing in the middle) and his band mates in Jimma, Western Ethiopia, 1973

Ali Birra (Amharic: አሊ ቢራ? ; Oromo: Ali Birraa: born September 29, 1947) is an internationally recognized Oromo singer, composer, poet and nationalist. He was born in Ganda Kore village in the city of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

For several decades from the mid-60’s and onwards, Ali Birra was the most prominent representative of modern Oromo music. He was part of a golden generation of Ethiopian musicians, performing with the greatest artists and orchestras of the time but being Oromo he was always an outsider in relation to the Amharic musicians of his time. Yet for many Oromos, he was a hero, fighting their cause at a time where the promotion of Oromo culture was illegal and singing in Oromo language banned.

Ali Birra left Ethiopia in 1984 and has since been back only sporadically. But he has not been forgotten. Heading for lunch we tried in vain to find a restaurant where devoted fans would not overwhelm Ali. Throughout the day his phone was red-hot with new and old friends checking in and while driving around Addis with Ali, we were met by a continuous honking and passengers shouting ’we love you Ali’ through the car windows. This was Addis 2012 but felt more like driving around with FelaKuti in Lagos in the 70’s.

Ali Birra - Nin deema

Ali has returned home to Ethiopia to launch his own NGO called Birra Children’s Education Fund. He wants to give something back to Ethiopia and has started support programmes for children in one school in Dire Dawa and one in Galamso in West Hararge. “My father always told me that educated people know how to fight for their rights and to respect the rights of others,’’ Ali explains. He now hopes to expand the programme to other schools around the country.

He has also come back to Ethiopia for musical reasons. In 2013, Ali is celebrating his 50-year anniversary on the music scene and he is planning to commemorate this landmark with concerts in Addis and at home turf in Dire Dawa as well as with the release of one final record before retiring. 

“I was lucky to be singer at a time with few Oromo singers around. I got the chance to influence people and their thinking. To be a teacher.To engrave my thoughts in peoples’ minds. The young Oromo musicians now are tough but they have not achieved this yet,” Ali tells me. And things certainly were tough in Dire Dawa in the early 60’s when Ali aged 14 at the time formed his first band HiriyaaJaalalaa and soon after started performing with the group called AfranQallo orUrjiBachalchaa. Being an Oromo musician back then was risky business. Singing in Oromifa was illegal and the band members handed out their records to people on the streets as no Oromo music was allowed on the radio. “We were very young and courageous at that time,” Ali admits.

The emergence of AfranQallo can be considered an early dawn for modern Oromo music and it was at a concert with this group that Ali earned himself his screen name – Birra meaning ‘spring’ or ‘break of dawn’ in Oromifa – through the singing of the ’BirradhaBarihe’ song. In 1964, the group was invited to play in neighbouring Djibouti but the 11 band members were denied permission to leave Ethiopia and had their music instruments destroyed. They decided to split in smaller fractions and travel anyway but when Ali arrived in Djibouti, he was arrested and detained for a month. On New Year’s Eve of 1964, Ali and three of his band members returned to Ethiopia and the next day, January 1st 1965, they were again arrested. Ali who had now turned 16 spent the next six months in prison, jailed for singing in his own language and celebrating his culture. “I still remember it vividly. From that time on I knew that I wanted to fight for the rights of my people,” he recounts.

After his release Ali was still detained on numerous occasions, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, until he in 1966 left Dire Dawa for Addis. But although he left Oromia and 20 years later left Ethiopia, Ali has never stopped being a strong and outspoken Oromo advocate. Seven years ago he met with the late Ethiopian Prime Minister MelesZenawi to discuss various Oromo issues and he has often encouraged the federal government to support arts and culture in Oromia by establishing a music school in the region.

Many of Ali’s early lyrics were strongly inspired by the revolutionary Oromo poet Abubakar Musaa. But singing in Oromifa was only one of the ways that Ali tried to distinguish his music from the dominant Amharic sound. He and fellow Oromo musicians used grace notes and played in diatonic instead of pentatonic scales creating a less Amharic and more Indian or Arabian sound. “Nowadays Oromo music sounds similar to the Amharic,” Ali deplores. But simultaneously he praises the many new Oromo musicians: “Back then it was mostly Ali Shebbo and I. Now you have new Oromo singers coming forth almost every day,” he says and starts listing some of his favourite heirs such as Tadele Gemechu, Jambo Jote, Qamar  Yusuf, Hachalu Hundessa and Elemo Ali among others.

While there truly are many talented young Oromo musicians out there, none of them have carved out a sound as unique as the one that characterizes many of Ali’s recordings from the 60’s and 70’s: the one of a guitar tuned as an oud. This was a sound crafted under rather peculiar circumstances. Ali and his childhood friend Ali Shebbo had learned to play the oud in Dire Dawa. In 1966, when Ali Birra went to an audition for Emperor Haile Selassie’s Imperial Body Guard Band, he was asked if he played any instruments. He replied that he played the oud but was then told they did not have an oud in Addis. Instead Ali was given a guitar, which he tuned like an oud because that was what he knew the best. Thus, the inimitable Ali Birra sound was born.

He has since tried to remain true to that sound. When I ask him about his musical philosophy, he explains: “I believe in small incremental changes to my music while staying faithful to its origins. I have tried to use new technological means while respecting the past. When I left Ethiopia, I was lucky to get the chance to study music in the US. It made me able to better analyse music and its scales. At the same time I can play many different instruments. Many new musicians today are only vocalists or they can only play one instrument.“

Ali describes, how at first the audience was not really able to understand his Eastern Oromo dialect but when he started singing a classic Arabic song praising the prophet Mohamed, the crowd went berserk and started throwing money at the band. Ali repeated the song and in the end the floor was covered with money. The group was originally paid 400 birr to play the concert but ended up earning close to 10,000 birr that single night

In 1977, Ali joined the renowned all-star Ibex band and in 1980 the Ethio Star Band. Nevertheless, Ali also had his difficulties this time around: “When I joined the Ibex Band, I was disarmed my guitar. I was told that my guitar style did not match their vocal so I was left with singing together with Mahmoud Ahmed. At least, this gave me a bit more freedom to be a performer.” Some of the more serious artistic restrictions came from the Derg regime. “There was a lot of censorship during public concerts and the majority of the songs we recorded had to include some praise of socialism, Marxism or Leninism”, he elaborates.

The night before Ali in 1984 left Ethiopia, he played with the Ethio Star Band at a wedding at the Hilton. “I never get paid for that job,” he notes. A few years earlier, Ali had met and married a diplomat named BrigittaAlstrom working at the Swedish Embassy. When Brigitta’s posting in Ethiopia ended, she was transferred to Los Angeles and Ali decided to follow his wife to the US. “My motivations for leaving Ethiopia were mixed. I wanted to be with my wife, to escape the harassment of the regime and to explore new opportunities abroad.”

In the US, Ali studied music theory at the university and used most weekends touring the US and Canada with fellow Ethiopian diaspora musicians. Diplomatic life later brought Ali to Saudi Arabia and Sweden and he continued to perform and record music throughout this period. Ali now resides in Canada with his wife Lily.

Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 01 - Asa Bela (4:25)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 02 - Turun Bula (5:46)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 03 - Tola-Tola (7:47)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 04 - Adu-Golegolasa (3:36)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 05 - Dira Dawa (4:14)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 06 - Bilusuma (7:38)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 07 - Yaleselesa (5:07)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 08 - Yedenka (6:14)
Ali Birra with Ibex Band - 09 - Bilasawa (With Mahmoud Ahmed) (6:25)

Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - Bati [ethiopia]

MesMat - Bemela Besebeb

Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 01 - Bemela Besebeb (6:17)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 02 - Dire (5:11)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 03 - Yilugnta Atawq (6:27)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 04 - Ay Fikir (5:47)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 05 - Meskerem (6:54)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 06 - Wulo Adro (7:52)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 07 - Eleli (6:06)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 08 - Bati (4:20)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 09 - Birtukan Belich (7:57)
Mathias & Mesfin Makonnen - 10 - Temari Negn (6:05)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wubshet Fisseha - Amronyali [1985] [ethiopia]

                                     R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   

       Wubshet Fiseha found his great passion for singing in his youth age in school and at his living areas, his friends listening to his great talent used to encourage him to carry on with his potential. Kibur Zebegna band and Yepolis orchestra was Wubishete’s childhood music icon, he has always looked up with hope to join the band someday, his dreams eventually came true to join the band which hosts many famous singers in town.

       Wubshet Fiseha is great singer which sang his works in stage from the 1960’s to 1970’s E.C. Wubshet has worked from his first band Kibur Zebegna to different bands all around Addis playing in different night clubs and hotels. To name the few, in Hilton hotel with Walias band, in Shebele Hotel with Ethio Star band, Sheble band, and other famous bands.

       Besides his singing career, he is also a great guitar player, this talent have made him contribute to accompany the famous artist Aster Aweke in her concerts and recordings which were produced by prominent local producers. Wubshet Fiseha has produced different melody and lyric compositions, and has released more than six music albums.

       Wubshet Fiseha was the lead singer in the famous band Walias and Ethio-Star band in the 1960’s and 1970’s E.C. being a star singer at the time.

Out of the many famous albums releases, Wubushets albums such as “maleda maleda”, and his last release “Aseb Shegaw Wende Late” were a hit album.

       He went on a tour with Walias Band to U.S.A., in this tour Wubshet gained a wide fame from Ethiopian diasporas who went to U.S. in the derg regime, performing traditional music to the Ethiopian audience in U.S., Wubshet gained control of many music concerts in U.S.

       After leaving Ethiopia to tour in the U.S. with Walias band, he has made his living in the United States, coming to his mother land Ethiopia for an occasional visit for recordings, worked in the U.S. as a singer for some time.

      Wubshet Fiseha have made more than 100 Amharic songs which are listened from generation to generations, Wubshet, having passed away his works still follow his great legacy being listened to the audience till present.

1. Wubshet Fisseha - Abesha Nat (7:38)
2. Wubshet Fisseha - Shemunmunaye (17:26)
3. Wubshet Fisseha - Hali Meru Meru (5:51)
4. Wubshet Fisseha - Kab Semay Fiqri (6:38)
5. Wubshet Fisseha - Che Belew (12:34)
6. Wubshet Fisseha - Belashew (12:02)

Techome Wolde - Ethiopian Soul Revue [1998] [ethiopia]

         A soul singer in the style of Mahmoud Ahmed, Teschome (or Teshome) Wolde first found success in the mid-70s with a series of acclaimed performances at the City Hall Theatre in Addis Ababa. In 1981 he released his first cassette in Ethiopia and he has subsequently released eight more for the local market. He has performed throughout Ethiopia and in neighbouring countries including Djibouti and Saudi Arabia. He has also toured in Europe and the USA. 

         His debut CD, The Ethiopian Soul Revue, was recorded at a concert at the Rocket Hall in London in 1994, with backing supplied by the Ethio Stars. Released four years later it features a mixture of high-energy dance tunes and soulful ballads and resembles an intense North African version of the Memphis Soul Reviews of the 60s.

Teshome Wolde - Yeshewa Alemena

Techome Wolde - 01. - Wey Fikir (4:54)
Techome Wolde - 02. - Leba Negn Leba (7:59)
Techome Wolde - 03. - Sema Eda Aegebachign (4:13)
Techome Wolde - 04. - Yeweray Semelie (2:25)
Techome Wolde - 05. - Al Metam Qerehughne (6:20)
Techome Wolde - 06. - Liebo Ney (5:32)
Techome Wolde - 07. - Megebema Moltwal (2:31)
Techome Wolde - 08. - Aweyo (4:14)
Techome Wolde - 09. - Yematbela Wef (5:25)
Techome Wolde - 10. - Nanu Nanu Ney (5:08)
Techome Wolde - 11. - Yehagerie Lidge Bale Gamie (6:43)
Techome Wolde - 12. - Eweyu Lielawo (3:06)