Blogtrotters

Friday, October 31, 2014

Massinko - DJ XL Yaffet & DJ Mengie (nyc) - [2001] - Vol. 1 [ethiopia]



originaly posted here > Awesome Tapes from Africa :












01 - Setegne - Ene eyewededkuat (5:03)
02 - Gigi - Nana Enji (4:47)
03 - Menyale - Saba Sabina (3:55)
04 - Aster Aweke - Arada (5:22)
05 - Haileye - Abet Abetu (4:26)
06 - Gigi - Tew Maneh (3:58)
07 - Various Artists - Seeya Deeju (4:20)
08 - Alemayehu Eshete - Mishitu Demeke (5:03)
09 - Haileye - Emotalehu Woy (3:52)
10 - La Fonte - Seejale (5:11)
11 - Take 5 - Arada (Remix) (4:19)
12 - Various Artists - Atalelegne (Remix) (5:25)
13 - Setegne - Yagereleje (4:23)



Michael Belayneh - Nafkot Ena Fikir [2012] [ethiopia]





Michael Belayneh - Ashenefe



         Michael Belayneh is an Ethiopian Singer/Songwriter with a unique voice color.


      Michael Belayneh was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After completing his high school studies he went to Bahir Dar Polytechnic Institute and graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Industrial Electricity. Michael furthered his studies by attending Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) at Addis Ababa University and acquired a BA degree.


     Music, for Michael, has always been a passion to live for. While attending formal education at AAU, he also started taking Piano lessons at Yared Music School with a private tutor, on a part time basis. There, he confirmed his talent for music particularly for singing. He later joined Medina Band as a part time English song singer. In those years, he has been playing at various night clubs in town with Medina and Express bands.





       Michael took his talent to different stages, one of which was Concorde Piano Bar. There, he played with the renowned bar pianist, the late Getachew Degefu along with saxophonist Abebe Kassa. He has been playing American standard songs of the 50s and 60s singer’s like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, and many more. And also he started playing the Ethiopian music ‘Golden Years’ songs of Bahta Gebrehiwot, Getachew Kassa, Girma Beyene, Seifu Yohannes, Teshome Mitiku. His Concorde times made him realize his capacity to entertain an audience with his singing skills only to assert the very truth that he was born to live music. 

       His connection with piano made him to enter in to a project called MELEYA KELEME by the year 2003 with the Ethiopian classical pianist Girma Yifrashewa and Poet/Playwright/Artist Getnet Eniyew, later to produce piano vocal album, may be the first in its kind in Ethiopia. At this juncture, Michael decided to make music his life career. 

       In 2003, Michael started producing his own solo album project with Elias Melka. While producing this album, he released his first single, the remake of Getachew Kassa’s song called Sayish Esasalehu. He also took part in many HIV awareness projects as a songwriter taking the nature of HIV songs in to a new direction by making them more loved and audible. The songs include Malebabes Yikir, Mela Mela, Melli Harr’a [Oromiffa], Metamen Mamen and many more. 

      By year 2005, his debut album called ANTE GODANA was published by the popular music publisher, Electra. This album brought Michael closer to the larger audience. The album was a huge success as it catches the hearts of music lovers in a slow but subtle way. The tracks in ANTE GODANA are deeply driven by positivity and relaxing vibes. Such songs include Siqe Eshegnishalehu, Etebikishalehu, and Yefikir Mirchaye; the most loved romantic song to date. 

      Tizita, a slow rock single, released in 2010, after a brief pause in his musical activity due to unexpected engagements of life. Tizita was a success as the music and lyrical approach was out of the usual Tizita context. 

    After a long absence, Michael produced and delivered the very outstanding album, NAFKOT ENA FIKIR [meaning NOSTALGIA & LOVE in Amharic] in 2012/13. Nafkotena Fikir is unique in its presentation that it gave a chance to the young talents of Ethiopian music both in arrangement and lyrics. Gebrekristos Desta’s forty year old classic love poem SIWEDISH has also been made to be one timeless romantic song. 

The album is named as ‘Album of the Year' by Sheger FM 102.1 Leza Radio Show public votes. The album still dominates the air with its sweet sounds. 

Michael Belayneh vows to deliver his next masterpiece album by the end of 2014.






01 - Michael Belayneh - Bemar (4:20)
02 - Michael Belayneh - Ashenefe (4:12)
03 - Michael Belayneh - Sewedesh (5:34)
04 - Michael Belayneh - Kal Neberen (6:22)
05 - Michael Belayneh - Anchi Yelelesh Gize (5:00)
06 - Michael Belayneh - Saynegrush (4:57)
07 - Michael Belayneh - Senewaded (4:05)
08 - Michael Belayneh - Afajeshigne (4:43)
09 - Michael Belayneh - Afkirash (4:26)



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ethio-Cali Ensemble - Wax & Gold - Ethiopian Classic Selections [curated by Sonny Abegaze] [2014]







       Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethiopian jazz ensemble led by trumpeter/arranger/composer Todd Simon and featuring a cast of the finest musicians from Southern California. The ensemble's sublime sound is inspired by the Golden Age of Ethiopian music of the 1960's and 70's, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles and roots-inspired. Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Columbia.


       Wax and Gold (aka Semena Werq) is a form of traditional Ethiopian poetry that has one surface meaning, known as wax, and multiple hidden meanings, known as gold. Musicians in Ethiopia have used Wax and Gold to explore topics such as spirituality, politics, and matters of the heart throughout the ages. On November 17, 2013, the Ethio-Cali Ensemble performed a special set of music at the Blue Whale (the best place in Los Angeles to go see live Jazz) inspired by the concept of Wax and Gold. Ethio-Cali's 'Minister of Information', Sonny Abegaze, curated compositions from the catalogues of Hailu Mergia and Walias, Alemayehu Eshete, The Police Orchestra, and other Ethio-Jazz luminaries to be performed on this special night. The mix below features these songs in their original form. Enjoy…



Track-by-track info :

01. Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Guebru - Mother's Love
       Emahoy Tsegue-Mariam Guebru is a classical pianist and composer who was born in Addis Abeba in 1923. She was ordained as a nun at the age of 21 and now lives in an Orthodox monastary in Jerusalem. Emahoy's music is intimate, delicate, joyful, and melancholy all at the same time. We draw a lot of inspiration from her music and personal journey. At 90, Emahoy is finally starting to get some of the recognition she deserves.

02. Lieut. Mesfin Haile, Hirut Beqele and The Police Orchestra - (track title unknown)
      This song comes from a Voice of America reel that was recorded in 1961. It features Lieutenant Mesfin Haile and Hirut Beqele accompanied by the Police Orchestra, along with an amazing violin player. They sing, 'Life is Tough. This world is an unforgiving and bitter place, and now you are leaving me'. Sublime.

03. Getatchew Mekurya - Ambassel (Slow)
     This waltz-like tune is by the most popular saxophonist in Ethiopia, Getatchew Mekurya. It was recorded in 1972 and was originally released on the Philips record label during the heyday of Ethio Jazz. It was later released on 'Ethiopiques Vol. 14: Negus of Ethiopian Sax'. Getatchew draws much of his inspiration from Shellela, a traditional vocal style sung by warriors before going into battle. You can hear this sentiment in his melismatic style of playing. Getatchew still performs regularly in Ethiopia, Europe, and Canada.

04. Alem Girma Band ft. Alemayehu Eshete - Ambassel (Fast)
    Referred to as the Ethiopian James Brown, Alemayehu Eshete is a talented and spirited vocalist who first got his break with Addis Ababa's famous Police Orchestra. Ambassel is an area found in the Amhara region of Ethiopia with the root word ‘amb' meaning fortress. It is also the name of one of the major musical scales in the country. There are various versions of Ambassel that have been recorded by different musicians over the years. The lyrics to this version speak of a man who is out of luck in his pursuit of love. Alemayehu Eshete also has a slow version of Ambassel that has a completely definitely feel... definitely worth checking out!

05. Mulatu Astatke - Yefikir Tezeta
   This slow burner by Mulatu Astatke is a favorite amongst the members of Ethio Cali. So much so that one of our drummers/percussionists, Te'Amir Yohannes Sweeney, produced a tune that sampled this track. This song was originally released on Philips International as a 45. It was later reissued on the compilation 'New York - Addis - London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975'. Eternal gratitude to master Mulatu!

06. Alemayehu Eshete and Hirut Beqele - Temeles
      This is a love duet that features Alemayehu Eshete and Hirut Beqele. The lyrics speak of a man who has left his lover for work. His lover misses him dearly and is pleading for his return. This is a classic example of an unrequited love ballad, a theme commonly found in Ethiopian music. Our interpretation of this tune has energy and intensity, and we substitute horns for the vocal lines.

07. Mahmoud Ahmed - Fitsum Dink Lidj Nesh
    Mahmoud Ahmed is a beloved vocalist from the Gurage region of Ethiopia. He shined shoes as a boy before getting his break as a singer with Emperor Haile Selassie I's Imperial Body Guard Band. He later recorded with groups such as The Venus Band, Ibex Band, and Walias. Fitsum Dink Lidj Nesh finds Mahmoud Ahmed singing poetically about the beauty of an Abyssinian woman. He goes into great detail describing her lovely features. He wonders what her name is and finally calls her Fitsum Dink Lidj Nesh, which translates to 'you are an absolute miracle”.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Constellations - [2014] - New Constellations [usa]







         New Constellations is an original, all instrumental band from Chicago, IL. Their sound combines East + North African melodies, Afro-Cuban rhythms, psychedelic + ambient textures, and American roots music. Memorable hooks and melodies are balanced with a flair for improvisation. Ideal music for either a party atmosphere, or as chill background music.

             Some acts members of New Constellations have previously been or are currently involved with are : Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub, Frank Catalano/Jimmy Chamberlin, Joe Pug, The Interiors, Van Ghost, Chicago Afrobeat Project, Rebel Roots.


     Original, all instrumental Global Psych music. The New Constellations sound combines Ethiopian + North African melodies, soulful Afro-Cuban rhythms, psychedelic + ambient textures, and American roots music. Memorable hooks and melodies are balanced with a flair for improvisation. Ideal music for either a party atmosphere, or as chill background music



Band members: 


Rocco Labriola - Pedal steel, other
Brian Lubinsky - Fender bass
Andy Miller - Guitar
Chris Paquette - Percussion






01 - New Constellations - The Dissident (5:19)
02 - New Constellations - Dash (5:11)
03 - New Constellations - Piano Rats (6:12)
04 - New Constellations - Rift Valley (4:51)
05 - New Constellations - Electric Kilo (7:22)
06 - New Constellations - Goat Story (8:21)




Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - [1977] - Abaro Geday [ethiopia]




Tilahun Gessesse - Fesum Yelesh Acha






        Tilahun Gessesse was born on 29 September 1940, in Addis Ababa and died on 19 April 2009.

    Tilahun was born to Woizero Gete Gurmu and Ato Gessesse Negussee. When he was fourteen years old, he was taken by his grandfather to Waliso Oromia where he began attending Ras Gobena Elementary School.

       As time went by, his interest in music became increasingly clear, although his grandfather urged him to concentrate on his academic studies. The Ras Gobena School Principal Mr. Shedad (who was from Sudan), encouraged Tilahun's interest in music and urged him to go to Sudan to pursue his music career. Although Tilahun did not go to Sudan, he took Mr. Shedad's advice very seriously. When Woizro Negatwa Kelkai, Ato Eyoel Yohanes and others artists from the Hager Fikir Theatre came to his school to perform, Tilahun took the opportunity to discuss his interest in music with Ato Eyoel. He was told to go to Addis Ababa if he wanted to pursue a career in the field.

       Tilahun left school to go to Addis Ababa, a journey he began on foot without his grandfather's consent. When his grandfather realized that Tilahun was no longer in Woliso, he informed Tilahun's great-aunt in Tulu Bolo. After Tilahun traveled fifteen kilometers on foot, he was caught in Tulu Bolo and stayed overnight with his great-aunt Woizero Temene Bantu. The next day, he was forced to return back to his grandfather in Woliso. Since his interest in music lay deep in his heart, Gessesse chose not to stay at his grandfather's house in Woliso. After staying only one night at his grandfather’s house, he again began his journey to Addis Ababa, this time hiding himself in the back of a loaded truck.

       Ethiopian News - Tilahun GessesseIn Addis Ababa, Tilahun was first hired by the Hager Fikir Association, which is now known as Hager Fikir Theater. After a few years at the Hager Fikir Theater, he joined the Imperial Bodyguard Band where he became a leading star singer. During his time with the band, Gessesse ran afoul of the government after the attempted coup d'état of December 1960 by the Imperial Bodyguard. He was arrested and put in prison for a time.

      Tilahun moved to the National Theater where his success continued. He was so famous that he appeared three times in front of Emperor Haile Selassie I. During a visit, the Emperor advised him not to abuse his talent.

        Tilahun's recordings are in Amharic and Oromo.

    He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Addis Ababa University, in appreciation of his contribution to Ethiopian music. He has also received an award for his lifetime achievements from the Ethiopian Fine Art and Mass Media Prize Trust.

       Tilahun Gessesse died on April 19, 2009. He had been in poor health for several years due to diabetes.





01 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Abarro Gedaye (6:29)
02 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Yeqolegna Lidj Nat (4:30)
03 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Akam Neguma (6:54)
04 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Bewodish New Enne (5:46)
05 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Metenegna Lidj Nat (5:31)
06 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Yetelash Yitla (9:09)
07 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Ye Fiqir Sebago (5:53)
09 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Tsegereda (5:25)
10 - Tilahun Gessesse with the Ibex Band - Fiqerey Wey Yalantchi (5:48)