Wednesday, May 29, 2013

v.a. - Music from Ethiopia - The Central Highlands, the Desert Nomads and Eritrea [1994] [ethiopia,eritra]


 R E U P L O A D  

Music from Ethiopia - The Central Highlands, the Desert Nomads and Eritrea

01. Music of the Central Highlands - Music of the Ethiopian Church (3:21)
02. Music of the Central Highlands - Ethiopian Funerals (2:29)
03. Music of the Central Highlands - Judiac Falasha (2:38)
04. Music of the Central Highlands - Biblical Harp of David (2:41)
05. Music of the Central Highlands - Wax and Gold (2:37)
06. Music of the Central Highlands - Simple Notched Flutes (2:01)
07. Music of the Central Highlands - Skista (2:06)
08. Music of the Central Highlands - Kerar (2:04)
09. Music of the Central Highlands - The Gurage (2:23)
10. Music of the Central Highlands - Incitement-Into-Battle (0:55)
11. Music of the Central Highlands - A Great Gathering (1:28)
12. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Gadabursi (1:10)
13. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Afar (1:43)
14. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Rashaida (1:57)
15. Music of the Desert Nomads - Afar Territory (2:23)
16. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Borana (1:38)
17. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Borana Wells (2:40)
18. Music of the Desert Nomads - The Gerre (9:10)
19. Music of Eritrea - The Rashaida (2:06)
20. Music of Eritrea - The Rashaida (1:35)
21. Music of Eritrea - The Beni Amer (1:57)
22. Music of Eritrea - The Baria (1:51)
23. Music of Eritrea - The Afar (2:16)
24. Music of Eritrea - Music of Serae (2:17)
25. Music of Eritrea - The Assaorta (2:18)
26. Music of Eritrea - The Kunama (2:02)
27. Music of Eritrea - The Zar (2:40)
28. Music of Eritrea - The Bilen (2:24)
29. Music of Eritrea - Ballad of Neguesse (3:24)
30. Music of Eritrea - The Kunama (2:11)
31. Music of Eritrea - Milking Songs (2:31)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mulatu Astatke & The Ethiopian Quintet - Le allucinazioni LSD Disco psichedelico [1966]

                        R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

       Tripped out Italian library LP about the effects of LSD, very rare, strangely has a really good crazy Latin tune mixed with electronic sounds, pretty unique record from an Italian TV show talking about LSD and drugs. 

      The bugaloo jazzy and funky Latin musical background is by Mulatu and the Ethiopian quintet, with psychedelic effects due to drugs.

Girma Yifrashewa & Michael Belayneh - Meleya Keleme [2003]

                           R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D  

       Musicians Girma Yifrashewa and Michael Belayneh released a CD entitled “Meleya Keleme” co-financed through the common support fund for Franco-German cultural projects in third world countries on the occasion of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Franco-German “Friendship Treaty”. The lyrics of the new music are written by the well-known Ethiopian playwright, actor and poet Getnet Eneyew.

        The CD was officially presented at an Ethiopian music concert at the Hilton Hotel. Girma and Michael recorded three of the eight tracks, with French violinist Patrice Legrand, director and German cellist Markus Lentz who will be in Addis to perform at the concert.

       This Ethio-Franco-German musical realization was made possible through the collaboration of the Alliance Ethio-Française and the Goethe Institute in Addis Ababa under the sponsorship of their two embassies.

       The CD was also released in France and Germany, and will then be made available in other countries through the international distribution network of BNL Productions based in France.  

      On January 1963, President Charles de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed a treaty of friendship which set the seal on the reconciliation between Germans and French in an historical disputed Europe. The treaty was named “Elysée Treaty” after the place where it was signed in France.

      Girma, Michael, Patrice and Markus will soon be on tour in France and Germany.

Friday, May 24, 2013

various artists - Folk Music and Ceremonies of Ethiopia [FW04354] [1974]

                         R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   

       In the summer of 1972, Lin Lerner and Chet A. Wollner traveled throughout southwestern Ethiopia, recording the songs, chants, and dances of the various people they met. Folk Music and Ceremonies of Ethiopia documents their journey, exploring the music of Ethiopian ritual with analyses of performance practice, summaries of the stories told through song lyrics, and historical backgrounds which imbue each work with tremendous cultural significance for both individual performers and entire communities. The liner notes also include original transcriptions of song melodies with photos of performers and descriptions of pertinent choreography.

various artists - The Festival of 1000 Stars [2005]

                                                 R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   

                                                  The Festival of 1000 Stars. 

Tribal groups from Southern Ethiopia come together to perform and celebrate their traditional songs and dances.

       A soundscape of the third festival of music and dance held at Arba Minch, Ethiopia, December 2005. 26 of over 50 distinct communities from Southern Ethiopia came together to celebrate and share their traditional music and dance. Global Music Exchange was asked by the Christensen Fund to help organise and record this third festival. About 9 hours of music was recorded by Martin Cradick, and Colin Powerstepper has edited an hour's worth of it in this CD that conveys the spirit of this fascinating part of the world.

"A decade ago, Martin & Su Cradick set off for the Cameroon rain forest and brought back exquisite recordings of the music of the Baka people (The Heart of the Forest/Hannibal Records). In 2005, they took their remarkable skills in energizing and documenting traditional African cultures to the Rift Valley of Southern Ethiopia. The result is a stunning collection of tribal music, assembled for its excitement and its beauty rather than its documentary value to scholars. The work they do resembles no other; they are fast becoming one of the developing world's great cultural assets."

v.a. - Ethiopian Urban and Tribal Music, vol. 1: Mindanoo Mistiru [1999]

                            R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   

      An utterly fascinating compilation drawn from 1971 field recordings made in various parts of Ethiopia. While a version of the album was originally issued on Lyrichord, this version amounts to a complete restoration and overhaul of the project, with digital equipment used throughout the editing and mastering chain. The material on the album is only a tiny sample of Ethopia's musical treasure -- certainly, because of literacy issues that have resulted in oral transmission of songs from generation to generation, there is a distinct possibility that the roots of much modern Ethiopian music go back thousands of years, a form of living history. The album also provides a strong hint of a different kind of musical sensibility, one that does not deny the formalized Western system but works with and around it; this kind of exposure to alternate musical systems is a valuable educational tool. Whatever way you wish to look at it, this album (and the continuing series) should have a place in any really good music library, if only as a reference point. ~ Steven McDonald, Rovi 

      Haile Selassie was still Emperor of Ethiopia when these recordings were made during the summer of 1971. They serve as a small sample of both time and place from a region noted for its unique and complex natural setting. Ethiopia absorbed cultural influences from inner Africa (north to the Sahara and south to Kenya) and also from the Red Sea and Arabia. Perhaps most unique for a country from the Horn of Africa, its king in the mid-4th century converted to a Coptic version of Christianity that believed in the monophysite nature of the Christian deity. The rise of Islam isolated Ethiopian Christians, creating an entirely unique body of liturgical music. Latter 19th-century expansion brought in up to a hundred languages and ethnic groups. The consequence is a nation with a music of extraordinary scope and diversity.

      A simple drum dirge, followed by the song "Wub Allem" ("Beautiful World") that for a moment sounds almost Cajun, provides a hint that this music features some distinct regional flavors. These thirteen tracks demonstrate the sounds of Ethiopian folk instruments like the masenko (a one-string fiddle), the craar (a gut-string lyre), several washint (flutes), kabaros (single- or double-headed drums), and the bagana (a large 8- to 10-stringed plucked lyre. Butterfly-like melodies are produced on "Two Afar Flutes" and similarly on "Galla Song" which features the washint. One track illustrates the use of a toum (thumb piano)-a nod to the mbira's wide influence across the continent. An Afar divination chant represents the nominally Muslim Cushites in a session with an oracle seer. The plucked strings of the Nuer harp and craar captured my ear, and by the time I listened carefully to the Nuer and Konso dances that close out this collection I just wanted more. A very wonderful and brief introduction to the urban and tribal music of Ethiopia, with an emphasis on "tribal"; these are not the "urban" pop music tunes of the '70s. - Richard Dorsett

Track Listings

1. Drum Dirge - Jigsaw
2. Wub Allem 'Beautiful World'
3. Galla Song
4. Afar Divination Chant
5. Two Afar Flutes - Bilaitu And Salatu
6. Anuak Toum Thumb Piano - Phillip Agowa
7. Nuer Harp
8. Lome. Dorze Song
9. 'Give Me Money' - Jigsaw
10. Bagana - Deftene Belete
11. Habeebe ('My Love') - Mary Armedee
12. Nuer Dance
13. Konso Dance Of The Hrela Age Grade

Monday, May 20, 2013

Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - live

                   R E U P L O A D  

           Comprised of Addis Ababa's greatest acoustic musicians, the Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group brings forth Ethiopia's popular tunes from the 1950's and 1960's in a new light. 

       Ethiopia’s pop music of this era predominantly featured acoustic instruments such as the mandolin, accordion, clarinet, and double bass, played alongside traditional instruments such as the Kirar, Kebero, Washint and Massinko. 

      Directed and arranged by guitarist Girum Mezmur, the Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group unfolds Ethiopian music from the past in a modern and jazzy way. 

       The band, composed of veteran musicians such as Ayele Mamo (Mandolin), Shaleka Melaku Tegegn (Accordion) as well as contemporary musicians such as Girum Mezmur (Guitar/Arrangement), Henock Temesgen (Double Bass), Natnael Tessema (Drums/Percussions), Dawit Ferew (Clarinet), and Mesale Legesse (Kebero/Percussions), produces unique sounds dear to most Ethiopians and that undoubtedly appeal to a greater world music audience.

1. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Ambassel (5:12)
2. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Anchim Endelela (4:34)
3. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Ante Temeta ene (4:37)
4. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Ambassel [Girma Beyene] (7:47)
5. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Feker kegna endayleyen [Girma Beyene] (4:18)
6. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Yefiker Megeb (6:04)
7. Addis Acoustic Renaissance Group - Fiker Ayaregim (4:23)

Helen Meles - Kuhley Segen [1997] [eritrea]

   R E U P L O A D   

       Helen Meles' biography is the story one of the biggest African stars of the early 21st century. She established herself as a talented singer, song writer and bona fide diva during her two decade long musical career. She has become one of the biggest selling Eritrean artists of all time, and has captured the hearts and minds of Eritreans and neighboring African countries alike.
       In her early years, Helen Meles joined the EPLF (Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front) at the age of 13. Like many Eritreans, both her parents were also fighters of the Eritrean liberation struggle. Helen was brought up in ‘Biet tmhrti sewra’ (EPLF’s revolutionary school). Her friends describe her as a free-spirited and rebellious individual who was not afraid to show her ‘other’ sides of her personalities. During those revolutionary years, a fighter who showed other inclinations, including his/her artistic sides, could easily be misunderstood.
       Helen has two sisters named Aster and Senait, and an older brother named Mikael (better known as "wedi Meles"). Like Helen, her older brother Mikael was also a fighter and a singer, who was one of the first students of biet tmhrti (shool of) sewra of the EPLF.  He would end up being heavily wounded in the pitched battles of the 6th Offensive in 1982, he was almost given up for dead and his comrades were ready to bury him when another comrade insisted that they first take him to the frontline’s hospital, where he was saved and through the excellent medical care fully recovered his wounds and returned to frontline duty after four months. Many of Mikael Meles’s comrades recall his exceptional intelligence and amazing heroic feats and describe him in glowing terms not only as a brave warrior, but also as a gifted and sensitive artist who composed many songs and acted in several skits on stage. One of his memorable songs, “abiet SnAt abiet qoraSnet,” whose lyrics have hidden meanings of the heroism and martyrdom of his comrades on the HalHal Front, was later redone by his younger sister Helen Meles in her first CD release. A few days after meeting his sister Helen in 1990, Mikael, who by this time had risen to be the leader of a bren (heavy) machinegun platoon, was wounded in the battle to liberate Massawa, and martyred from enemy’s aerial bombardment while on his way to the hospital. 

       In 1998 BBC interview, Helen recalled the reaction of many Eritrean women from traditional communities when they first joined the battlefields. Helen Stated: "It was very difficult for them; even wearing trousers was strange and they were shocked when they had to share a blanket or bed with the men". However, By the end of the war in 1991 the lives of Eritrean women had changed so much they were determined not to go back to their traditional old roles.

       In 2007, Helen married an Eritrean saxophonist named Issac Asefaw. Their wedding was held in Asmara, Eritrea and many Eritrean musicians such as Bereket Mengisteab and others performed at her highly anticipated wedding. In early 2008, Helen gave birth to her first child, a boy. The following year, she gave birth to her second child, whom also is a boy. It is generally believed Helen is now in her late thirties or exactly 40 years of age.

      Helen is a highly passionate artist who reads and is responsive to her own feelings, a trait which is not clearly exhibited in many artists, especially those from the fighter community. One can feel the throbbing of her soulful voice which sends strong vibes all over. Her beauty is mesmerising and it can be described by her proud and majestic posture and her profile can be sketched by her captivating facial expressions while doing her dance routines. Strangely, if one is not familiar with her history, she does not exhibit any indication of the harsh life she led in the battlefields of Eritrea in her looks. Indeed, she was a combatant with a strong touch of music in her. Although somewhat camouflaged, perhaps carefully depicted, she seems to elegantly include her past experiences in her some of her songs. One can’t help but wonder how she really dealt with the bloody past that miraculously generated a strong sense of love amongst the fighters. That interesting but contradictory personal struggle that took place in the battlefields of Eritrea is demonstrated in the voice and bursting and sensuous movements, not necessarily in her lyrics.

       Helen's expertise lies in popular music which encompasses a wide range of styles of both local and international origins. She takes Tigrinya music to a different level by mixing traditional and modern music which is influenced by European, Arabic and African music. For instance, (only junior to the Creator) can be described as one of the most interesting songs from the ‘ResAni’ CD because of its new style which Ms Helen introduces in the song – a mixture of South African beat accompanied by a gospel-like sound.

      Helen can easily be compared to the diva of the Eritrean music scene of the sixties and seventies, Mrs Tberh Tesfahunegn, who instilled a strong patriotic feeling in many young Eritreans of the time. Both Mrs Tberh and Mrs Helen sing from the heart and their musical styles, although separated by decades of events and technological developments, are interestingly similar. It is vague how deep Mrs Helen’s knowledge of Mrs Tberh is, as there exists a generational divide between them. But they both share a precious experience in the liberation struggle within the EPLF camp.

      One can feel that there is a controversy in her style, as opposed to her lyricists’ and composer/producers’ input in her songs. It is bit confusing to tell whether they compliment each other or simply tear each other apart beautifully. Whether they are at odds or compliment each other, the end product is highly interesting. On the other hand, Mr MuKtar Saleh’s smooth composition and Mr Solomon Drar, Mr Solomon Berhane, and Mr Samuel Almede’s lyrics find an excellent niche in Helen’s remarkable talents. This applies to Mrs Tberh’s songs as well, as many would question whether she was representing the feelings of the great musical master, Mr Asres Tessema, or she was equally powerful in her presentation.

1. Helen Meles - 01 Defire Kizareb (5:55)
2. Helen Meles - 02 KuHley Segen (5:23)
3. Helen Meles - 03 Batsi (5:05)
4. Helen Meles - 04 TsinAt (5:59)
5. Helen Meles - 05 Aba-Seli (5:48)
6. Helen Meles - 06 Zekire (4:24)
7. Helen Meles - 07 Niusey (6:09)
8. Helen Meles - 08 Mehazay (6:02)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Seyfu Yohannes - 6 songs [1970-71]

 R E U P L O A D  

Soul Echos singer Seyfu Yohannes, who died at age 26 recoreded only 6 songs on vinyl. 

       The Soul Ekos were the first independent band to be recorded in Ethiopia. When Mulatu Astatqe returned from the United States in 1968, the two bands he had an opportunity to work with were the Ras Band and Soul Ekos. It was during this time that Mulatu introduced the Soul Ekos band to Amha Eshete. 

       Amha Eshete was taken by the bands sound and agreed to record them in 1969.  The Soul Ekos arranged and played the music to Seyfu Yohannes’ popular songs, Tizita and Mela Mela. 

    The band was comprised of Teshome Mitiku (Keyboards/Vocals), later Messele Gesesse took over the Keyboards, Tewodros Mitiku (Saxophone), Tamrat Ferenji (Trumpet), Fekade Amdemesqel later Hailu “Zehon” Kebede (Bass), Tesfaye “Hodo” Mekonnen (Drums), Alula Yohannes later Andrew Wilson (Guitar) and Seyfu Yohannes (Vocals). 

       The Soul Ekos Band was later renamed the Ibex Band which later became The Roha Band.