Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yemane Barya - Zemen [2014] [eritrea]

         Yemane Ghebremichael (commonly known as Yemane Barya), was a well-known Eritrean songwriter, composer and singer. Not confined to musical pursuits, Yemane was also heavily involved in Eritrean politics.          He died of natural causes in 1997. 
     Yemane's songwriting strove to reflect what he perceived to be Eritrean experience during the Eritrean War of Independence. His songs were dotted with stories of love, journey, hope, immigration, and liberation. 
      In 1975 he was jailed for the perceived political interpretation of one of his songs.

Yemane Barya - Zemen

01 - Yemane Barya - Nafkot (4:37)
02 - Yemane Barya - Meriyetey (7:53)
03 - Yemane Barya - Zemen (5:51)
04 - Yemane Barya - Ayresaekukn (8:03)
05 - Yemane Barya - Cira Feres (8:06)
06 - Yemane Barya - Deki Asmara (6:33)
07 - Yemane Barya - Ztsenhe Yu Sdet (6:32)
08 - Yemane Barya - Girma Ziasela (5:24)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Selam Seyoum - In Memory of Tekle Tesfazghi [1995] [eritrea]

       Selam Seyoum Woldemariam, also known as "Selamino", is an African musician who has turned out 250 (mostly locally produced) albums in his more than forty years as a professional musician. He has been called “The Jimi Hendrix of Ethiopia” and is a national legend.

In Memory Of Tekle Tesfazghi - Kemdilayey

Early life

             Selam Seyoum Woldemariam was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, in 1954 to a director-teacher father, Seyoum Woldemariam Kidane, and an assistant teacher-housewife mother, Tsirha Nemariam. 

        The family moved to Asmara, Eritrea, in 1965 and stayed there throughout his childhood (c. 1965–1972). While in Addis Ababa, his father worked in a school run by American missionaries. They brought various records of spiritual songs; Woldemariam and his siblings studied some of the songs and sang them at the Mekane Yesus Church in Addis Ababa. The family owned an acoustic guitar, and while each of his siblings tried to learn, he was the most disciplined in his musical study. 

        During the mid-1960s, Woldemariam formed a church music quintet choir group in Asmara at "Geza Kenisha", which became popular and pulled hundreds of followers to the church where they performed. Later, they included a Swedish drummer but the sound eventually became too noisy for the elderly congregation and they had to discontinue playing. 

            Woldemariam returned to Addis Ababa in 1972 and finished high school. This was at the height of the Ethiopian Civil War and classes in most schools, including Addis Ababa University (AAU) were disrupted. Soon, all higher learning institutions were closed, while students and staff were forced to join the national campaign (Idget Behibret). With the AAU closed, Woldemariam could no longer continue his education.

         Woldemariam later returned and graduated with a BA in History from AAU in 1988. He wrote his senior essay on Ethiopian music: "Origin and Development of Zemenawi Music in Ethiopia, 1896-1974”.

BSB Ibex and ROHA

       He joined The Black Soul Band (BSB) while they were on tour in Addis Ababa in 1973. Alemayehu Eshete and Slim Jones were the main vocalists of the group and together with Tesfaye Lemma of Orchestra Ethiopia, they travelled to various parts of Ethiopia. Towards mid-1974, Woldemariam and some other members of BSB joined the Venus club

        After working for a year or so at the Venus, Woldemariam replaced Zimbabwean Ibex Band guitar player Andrew Wilson at the Ras Hotel. During that time, Ibex was dominated by two foreign musicians: Ismail Jingo, vocalist and percussionist and Andrew Wilson, lead guitarist. At the time, most foreigners were leaving Ethiopia due to the revolution and Jingo and Wilson couldn’t stay. As a result, the band re-formed as Ibex (II) with the inclusion of some new members. 

        Mahmoud Ahmed was already in the group. The first recording the group did was his Ere Mela Mela album (LP) around 1975, which was later to become their first ever CD in Ethiopian history, released by a good friend, Francis Falceto on his Ethiopiques series. (Ethiopiques # 7). Ibex disbanded in 1979 as most of its members left for the Sudan, while Mahmoud left for the US. The remaining three members, Giovanni Rico, Fekadu Andemeskel and Selam Woldemariam, formed ROHA Band. The Ibex and ROHA Band dominated the music of the 1970s and 80s. They arranged and recorded well over 250 albums (2500 songs), accompanying various Ethiopian vocalists. From 1980 to 1990, The ROHA Band travelled extensively, throughout Europe, Middle East and the USA as well as to some parts of Africa. Mulatu Astatke joined the ROHA Band at the Paris and Spain summer shows in 1987.

Recent and current work

     During 2000, Woldemariam moved to the US, and started collaboration on the Power of The Trinity project with the Brooklyn-based Tomas Doncker Band. Besides co-writing and playing guitar on some tunes, Woldemariam is also involved as a production consultant. He has performed with the group at various venues. They will be performing together in a long-awaited show at the New York Summer stage in July and August. 

       Woldemariam is in the process of expanding his thesis paper on Ethiopian music and gathering together a book based on his over forty years of experience in music. He is also working on an instrumental album.

01 - Selam Seyoum - Tsibuk Zigebr (5:16)
02 - Selam Seyoum - Mistirawi Debdabe (4:38)
03 - Selam Seyoum - Nbaat Temeghibe (7:16)
04 - Selam Seyoum - Kokobey Kokobki (5:15)
05 - Selam Seyoum - Ningerom Nisdrana (4:27)
06 - Selam Seyoum - Fikrey Telemeni (4:42)
07 - Selam Seyoum - Kemdilayey (6:47)
08 - Selam Seyoum - Kewakhbti (5:26)
09 - Selam Seyoum - Shewit Hidmona (3:51)

Samson Kidane & Band - Gelassenheit [2012] [germany+eritrea]

Samson Kidane The krar has saved my life

       His instrument has saved his life. Samson Kidane agrees his krar, the national instrument of his native Eritrea.
       His language is Tigrinya. His thoughts are cosmopolitan. His music is universal. And his instrument has saved his life. Samson Kidane (47) sits on his sofa and playing on the krar. "I've been so long in Germany, that I sometimes call myself Kölscher Negroes."

SAMSON KIDANE BAND - Mesiluni (I thought)

       Kidane is one of about 25 000 people from Eritrea, who had to leave their country in the 1980s. He was eleven when he became a soldier and went against the Ethiopian government in the war. "I was a freedom fighter, not a child soldier. Like all boys of my age. The war was all over the country. No one could before fleeing." Child soldiers since Kidane is quite convinced there has never been in Eritrea. "None of us has been forced to kill." An eleven year old who draws freely in the fight? Let the simply are. The discussion can not carry on. 

     Five bullets hit Kidane, the child, in a raid on the camp of his unit to which he has come only because there was no one there who could play the krar. "I was previously in another group. They were all killed in another battle. "

       Enough of the past, says Samson Kidane, the musicians. Because his lyrics and poems have less to do with what he had as a child as with the wars that are now out in the name of religion between Christians and Muslims experience during the war. "At home," said Samson, "were never made differences between Christians and Muslims. Until I came to Germany, I did not know enmity between Christians and Muslims."  

     Kidanes music combines his African roots with modern musical styles, reggae, hip-hop and rock. In the songs is about justice, repression, solidarity. "The man is crazy, a skilled Doof," it says in the title song of the CD "Serenity".


       A trained Goofy. That sounds resigned. But Kidane is the opposite of that, he once had its own cleaning company, organizes festivals and symposia, mixed in the cultural scene of the city. He calls the network, including a Cologne'd say cliques, and he tried his sons Aminadab (14) and Meron (10) to give a taste of home. "You do not know Eritrea yes. I have to ensure that they can speak in their mother tongue. It's their native language. "

      Kidane says this because it's happened to him in similar reason. He was 14 when he came to Germany - and has the theme of integration is a very personal opinion. "I have problems with foreigners who want to be more German than the Germans." For people from Africa it was much more difficult to gain a foothold in Germany. "I think you still do not take us seriously because we regulate much easy with each other." That had a lot to do with the cohesion. The Africans in Cologne were a secret society and it was "very sad that there are no African center in Cologne." What surprised him the discussions that will be conducted, for example, about the many people of Turkish origin. "I think it's almost insulting. Who have grown up here, speak sometimes even Kölsch. The integrated, maybe they live just different. "

       How Kidane, whose music is well known in the opposition his home. He is a cosmopolitan who is looking for the linking between cultures. 

    Kidane himself sees the sober. He once strangers left on a tour through the immigrant milieu in Cologne in his apartment, which have gone on a world tour in your own town.

01 - Samson Kidane & Band - Mehaza (4:34)
02 - Samson Kidane & Band - Gelassenheit (3:49)
03 - Samson Kidane & Band - Ihre anwesenheit (3:14)
04 - Samson Kidane & Band - Sein (4:07)
05 - Samson Kidane & Band - Gefangnis (5:29)
06 - Samson Kidane & Band - Gefahrliche Liebe (3:23)
07 - Samson Kidane & Band - Ich Dachte (2:42)
08 - Samson Kidane & Band - Gerechtigkeit (6:37)
09 - Samson Kidane & Band - Der Mensch ist Wertvoll (5:52)
10 - Samson Kidane & Band - Musika (3:28)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

v.a. - [2009] - Southern Ethiopia - music of the Maale [praises and blessings] [ethiopia]

Maale are one the 40 ethnic groups of southern Ethiopia. 

The Maale music is very rich. It encompasses a cappella polyphonic singing, vocal polyphonies accompanied on the lyre, whistled polyphonies, solo flute playing, flute orchestras, horns, drums, and it displays a great originality in the vocal and instrumental techniques. 

For the Maale, music is the mean of a constant exchange between generations. The youngest ('children') praises the eldest ('fathers') and the eldest bless the youngest. Thus the music appears as a strong factor of social cohesion.

01 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Maale Zoro (2:44)
02 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Andalko (5:05)
03 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Abi (4:01)
04 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Dami (4:03)
05 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Irbe wala (2:37)
06 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Haya Haya Bolado (2:46)
07 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Nay malkiti (0:52)
08 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Gaade (4:08)
09 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Meni merti (3:30)
10 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Alo be (2:07)
11 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Shulungo (0:59)
12 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Aleko (3:34)
13 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Ank'ado (1:29)
14 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Are Indo (Pele) (3:42)
15 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Are Indo (Golo) (4:57)
16 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Salo (3:03)
17 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Durungo (1:34)
18 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Irbo Nay Koysi (3:49)
19 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Be Ta Belio & Olize (4:40)
20 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Kaye (1:16)
21 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Sorayti (1:17)
22 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Makanka dorba (2:40)
23 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Osta (2:59)

v.a. - [2013] - The rough guide to the music of Ethiopia [cd 1] - Traveling Trough Ethiopia (Vinyl) [ethiopia]

               Whether it conjures up legendary marathon runners, the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela, richly brewed coffee, Rastafarian spirituality, tumbling waterfalls or steaming hot springs, Ethiopia is a country famed for diverse reasons. Home to 82 million residents, the landlocked country is also birthplace to a multiplex of brilliant musics.

           On this Rough Guide the ‘Golden Age’ of recorded Ethiopian music is paid homage to via tracks by seminal Ethio-jazz musicians Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete. Other handpicked gems are selected from the Ethiopiques album series produced by Francis Falceto, an aficionado and scholar of rare Ethiopian records. The energetic music of saxophone prodigy Getatchew Mekuria references the long history of military brass bands in the country fused with a thoroughly modern rock ethos.

             Dynamic London-based ensemble Krar Collective also make an appearance and rock the track ‘Ende Eyerusalem’ with their signature forthright attitude and soaring female vocals. On the track, ‘Sek’let (Crucifixion)’ Zerfu Demissie can be heard playing the begena, a large Ethiopia harp that reverberates thick and loudly, sounding almost electronic, like a futuristic synthesizer.

             The Rough Guide to Ethiopia also considers some unique fusion projects that marry traditional Ethiopian grooves with dub, rock and punk sensibilities. Dub Colossus is the lovechild of UK musician and producer Nick Page and a host of established Ethiopian artists, including vocalists Tsedenia Gebremarkos and Sintayehu ‘Mimi’ Zenebe. Their sound is amped-up classic dub while Invisible System, a band headed up by UK based producer Dan Harper, explore a more experimental and darker sound and provide the excellent bonus album also.

       This Rough Guide is soaked in the urban cool that pervades Ethiopian music, both traditional and modern. Traverse the grooves of the ancient mountain kingdom, from antique vibes to futuristic styles. 

01.Bole 2 Harlem - Ametballe (4:58)
02.Dub Colossus - Guragigna (5:13)
03.Mahmoud Ahmed - Ohoho Gedama (4:46)
04.Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests - Musicawi Silt (4:22)
05.Orchestra Ethiopia - Datchene Koba (Trio Of Emblitas) (2:26)
06.Krar Collective - Ende Eyerusalem (7:23)
07.Samuel Yirga - Abet Abet (Punt Mix) (5:11)
08.Zerfu Demissie - Sek'Let (Crucifiction) (3:22)
09.Invisible System - Ambassel (5:29)
10.Tirudel Zenebe - Gue (Wire Tapper Edit) (4:16)
11.Alemayehu Eshete - Ney-Ney Weleba (3:46)
12.Tirudel Zenebe - Gue (7:19)
13.Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed - Mela Mela (4:49)
14.Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou - Homesickness (3:51)