Originaly posted on Awesome Tapes from Africa > here
This 1992 recording (1986 in Ethiopian calendar) is an awesome tape. I've had a YouTube crush on the music of Eritrean legend Yemane G/Michael (aka Yemane Baria, Yemane Barya, etc) for a while and this mostly-acoustic recording is completely bringing me back to a recent trip to Tigray, Ethiopia. The region neighbors Eritrea, and shares a language and musical vibe. I dug this tape up from deep in the stash months ago but didn't really get into it until now. Pentatonic strings and keyboard join the vocal melodies, dancing up and down in a lovely lilt. Amidst the quintessential [ka-dunk] rhythm that is characteristic of a lot of Tigrinya folk music I heard around the Eritrean border, this tape stands out: minimally arranged, urgent, beautiful.
posted by Brian Shmikovitz