Monday, December 29, 2014

v.a. - new ethio grooves [2014] [ethiopia]

Warm regards to all the readers of my blog. 

Regular followers have probably noticed that the usual Christmas present is late this year, but it does not mean that it will not arrive.

And here it is !

It is only fitting that we end the year with a short overview.This time, it is a compilation of the recent work of the bands whose music is influenced by the Ethiopian sound.

I am not going to bore you a lot. You have come to know most of the authors form this compilation through the posts on my blog, but there is something completely new as well. You will find out for yourself what it is. 

I wish you lots of health, happiness and love in the new year. And lots of interesting music, of course. 


   cd 1  

01 - Nadav Haber - Nanu Nanu Jazz (6:13)
02 - Elias Negash - My Eyes Are Hungry (6:55)
03 - New Constellations - Rift Valley (4:51)
04 - Ethioda - Araray (5:09)
05 - Akalé Wubé - Kidus à cent dix (5:17)
06 - Akalé Wubé - Gab's Trap (4:00)
07 - Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Che Belew (4:02)
08 - Arat Kilo - Ankober Hotel (3:42)
09 - Les Frères Smith - Yègellé Tezeta (My Own Memory) (4:58)

   cd 2  

01 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Bilemo Bilee (6:00)
02 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Agerwa Wasa Magana (5:36)
03 - KAZANCHIS +1 - Astawusalehu (5:34)
04 - Feedel Band - Girl from Ethiopia (7:35)
05 - Feedel Band - Arayas Mood (8:24)
06 - Black Flower - Upwards (4:58)
07 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 1 (5:28)
08 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 2 (5:07)
09 - The Shaolin Afronauts - Abyssinian Suite, Pt. 3 (3:44)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Imperial Tiger Orchestra - [2013] - Wax [swiss+ethiopia]

Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Le Le Le

       After two albums and a short but well-documented history, Imperial Tiger Orchestra (aka the Tigers) strikes back with a mighty new album, “Wax”, comprising nine killer tracks of tight funk and free-spirited trance wrapped in luscious arrangements. Still inspired by African masters – but not necessarily those you might have thought of – The Tigers have this time delved into the traditional azmari repertoire to uncover astonishing nuggets of synth- and horn-heavy grooviness. Get ready for a journey into the heart of Ethiopia.

          When Imperial Tiger Orchestra first started unravelling the yarn of Ethiopian Music from the Golden Age (1969 – 1975), no one expected the thread to be so long and no one knew where it might end.

          Inspired by original albums that the band found while shopping for rare musical gems on a first visit to Addis Ababa in 2009, Imperial Tiger Orchestra released a first record in 2010, the aptly-named Addis Abeba, which explored

          Ethiopian music from the 70s – when traditional Ethiopian brass bands began feeding off American soul. The second release, Mercato, veered towards a more pop-inspired repertoire from the 80s, and the latest release goes one step further, taking the listener deeper into Ethiopian culture, from the unique sounds of the azmari repertoire to the hypnotic groove of the major tribes.

       After three years touring Europe, Imperial Tiger Orchestra has acquired a solid reputation as a mighty groove machine. The band has also taken its acid riffs to the African continent, touring South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe back in 2010. Having been invited to Addis Ababa by the renowned producer of the Ethiopiques series, Francis Falceto, the Tigers were proud to meet many of the local musicians who work to reshape traditional Ethiopian music. Based in and around Geneva, Switzerland, Imperial Tiger Orchestra has also worked with musicians and dancers from the Ethiopian diaspora, receiving their rewarding approval and blessing for their own original take on Ethiopian music.

        Wax: 80s synths meet traditional kebero percussions and daring rhythms. Gorgeous horn arrangements enwrap powerful bass lines and saturated electronic beats. All of this in a room where the sun pierces through the walls, where spirits dance and bodies are entranced.


1. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Konso    06:19 
2. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Lelele    04:55
3. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Yasheryshery   05:33 
4. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Bechereka moshete   05:15 
5. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Che Belew    04:01
6. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Shered    03:21
7. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Tgeregna   07:03
8. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - El Naas Elgiafa   04:38
9. Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Sudani Tune   04:16 

   band members :  

Raphael Anker - trumpet, keyboard 
John Menoud - sax, electronics 
Alexandre Rodrigues - keyboards 
Cyril Moulas - bass, phin, krar, guitar 
Luc Detraz - kebero, pads, kayamb 
Julien Israelian - drums, wax machine 
Getu Tirfe - dance 
Emebet Tezazu - dance

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Samson Kidane Band - [eritrea + germany]

Samson Kidane and Friends

       Samson Kidane, singer and songwriter from Eritrea, live in Cologne, Germany and  writes his songs on the krar, the national musical Instrument of Eritrea. This plucked instrument is similar to the ancient lyre European and West African kora harp. 

This rare instrument is played today only in the zones adjacent to the Nile countries of Africa, and the Arabian peninsula. 

With his music Samson Kidane miraculously combine his African roots with modern music styles such as hip-hop, reggae and rock. But still you can hear his songs with East African and Arabic influences. 

           Samson Kidane is as cosmopolitan who is looking for the unifying between cultures. He sings in Tigrinya, the outsider a melodious, musical language. The lyrics of his songs are influenced by his early life in a war-torn Eritrea, and deal critically with the situation of his homeland. 

       They also tell of depth and passion, love and religion. His band plays in a classic line: with guitar, bass, drums and percussion support the four musicians discreet and reserved the own music style.

01 - Samson Kidane Band - Celdi (3:24)
02 - Samson Kidane Band - Fithi (3:22)
03 - Samson Kidane Band - Mesiluni ich dachte (2:56)
04 - Samson Kidane Band - Natuju sein (3:56)

Samson Kidane - krar, singing 
Wolfgang Reinermann - guitar 
Peter Dickas - drums 
Miguel Diaz - bass

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dereje Makonnen - Ibex Instrumental [1999] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

 Dereje Makonnen  (1962 - 2011)    
keyboardist, guitarist, arranger

Dereje Mekonnen ደረጀ መኮንን - “እትቱ በረደኝ"

         To most of his adoring fans that got close to knowing him by first name, he was just simply known to them as "DJ" and more importantly to his own family and ours, we called him Dereje. The 5th one down from a family of eleven (also his favorite chord progression...) and in my humble opinion: the most gifted keyboard player there is among Ethiopian Musicians. 

        Go ahead and ask any well-established musician in the Ethiopian Music circuit... they all know him as just simply "DJ". His composition style and rhythm arrangement has mentored many of the up-and-coming musicians in our own communities.

          Dereje "DJ" Makonnen was not one to drop names nor pre-occupy his time and energy with whom he has worked with and/or help bring them to stardom, he wanted to play music since he can actually see the blueprint of what the song should be each time the singer/artist bring the lyrics and the "Zema" (pronounced Zay_MAH: a word in amharic which means melody). 


 The lyrics of a song always send the message across to the listening audience but it is the song that carry the tune into everybody's ear and make them remember it each time they hear the first few bars of the song. After few years of tenure with the Dallol Band in Chicago, IL whom during the last heydays of the band they were touring with Ziggy & the Melody Makers on both Conscious Party (1988) and One Bright Day (1989) albums. It was right after the tour that DJ along with Ruphael, Bryan "Rocket", Asrat and Kahali Makonnen who was later replaced by Clem Julien formed Gizzae in 1991. Gizzae soon became a fan favorite in the Chicago and Midwest reggae scene. Every Sunday night, if you were a reggae music lover, you were at the Wild Hare waiting for Gizzae to take the stage. 

      Dereje Makonnen was one of the key element in revolutionizing modern Ethiopian Music (meaning using non-traditional musical instruments) He was always playing the guitar [his favorite instrument] the keys and also the bass at the forefront of trying new sounds and arrangement styles that no one was attempting. Many of the current Ethiopian musicians refer to him as a mentor.

01. Dereje Makonnen - Yezemed Yebaed (5:40)
02. Dereje Makonnen - Yene Fikir (5:23)
03. Dereje Makonnen - Zerafewa (8:15)
04. Dereje Makonnen - Kemdelaye (4:46)
05. Dereje Makonnen - Yene Nesh Wey (4:01)
06. Dereje Makonnen - Dinq Nesh (5:27)
07. Dereje Makonnen - Yedenqal (6:18)
08. Dereje Makonnen - Meleyayet Mot Naw (7:09)
09. Dereje Makonnen - Shemonmounaye (3:52)
10. Dereje Makonnen - Assa Abelashaleho (5:14)
11. Dereje Makonnen - Ashqaru (3:36)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Daniel W/Gabriel - Wube [1990] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

01. Daniel W/Gabriel - Almaze (7:14)
02. Daniel W/Gabriel - Ye-Enat Wuletawa (8:09)
03. Daniel W/Gabriel - Ayenishin Ayiche (4:51)
04. Daniel W/Gabriel - Belet Kedame (5:05)
05. Daniel W/Gabriel - Yiberdatal Bileh (4:03)
06. Daniel W/Gabriel - Lenerebet/Ehedaleu Hagere (9:18)
07. Daniel W/Gabriel - Ines Wusheten-New (3:53)
08. Daniel W/Gabriel - Helm-Elem (4:41)
09. Daniel W/Gabriel - Yiwodehal (7:46)
10. Daniel W/Gabriel - Lidgemer Chewata (5:27)
11. Daniel W/Gabriel - Eshururu (12:18)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nadav Haber - Summer Song [2014] [israel+ethiopia]

Nadav Haber - Summer Song

         Nadav Haber started to learn the clarinet at the age of 10. In 1988-89 he lead a qaurtet in the Tel-Aviv clubs in Israel, and played in a blues duo. In the 90's nadav has switched to the tenor sax, and began to explore Ethiopian music

       He played in Ethiopian dance bands all over Israel, in Ethiopian clubs and weddings. This has lead to the issue of Ethiopian Blues, and other smaller productions that were aimed at the Ethiopian Israeli market. In recent years Nadav moved back to playing jazz, and in 2003 led a hard bop quintet in Jerusalem. He is currently working on two projects - an Ethiopian Jazz program and a “Favorite ballads” program.

01 - Nadav Haber - Summer Song (4:37)
02 - Nadav Haber - Ambassel (5:45)
03 - Nadav Haber - Blue Morning (4:26)
04 - Nadav Haber - Morning Coffee (4:45)
05 - Nadav Haber - Goodbye Romance (4:39)
06 - Nadav Haber - In a Spanish Mood (Malaguena) (5:09)
07 - Nadav Haber - Yes, He Will ! (5:52)
08 - Nadav Haber - No More Heartache (5:31)
09 - Nadav Haber - Nanu Nanu Jazz (6:13)
10 - Nadav Haber - Lake Tana Blues (5:34)
11 - Nadav Haber - From Wollo to Madrid (4:55)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Haileyesus Girma - Mestawete [2001] [ethiopa]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

1. Haileyesus Girma - Yetint Yetewuata (5:43)
2. Haileyesus Girma - Yematebela Wof (8:34)
3. Haileyesus Girma - Min Asbeshina (5:16)
4. Haileyesus Girma - Mechem Yemalresash (5:38)
5. Haileyesus Girma - Manachin Nen (5:03)
6. Haileyesus Girma - Ehehe Lehode (Yekubaya Wotet) (7:23)
7. Haileyesus Girma - Mestawote (5:40)
8. Haileyesus Girma - Almetam Kerhugne (5:51)
9. Haileyesus Girma - Na Beygenna (5:18)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hamelmal Abate - Gize Mizan [2006] [ethiopia]

Hamelmal Abate - Gize Mizan

01 - Hamelmal Abate - Kireyalegn (5:31)
02 - Hamelmal Abate - Shelmegn (7:46)
03 - Hamelmal Abate - Tirulegn (5:53)
04 - Hamelmal Abate - Yegonder Gubel (5:32)
05 - Hamelmal Abate - Meleyet (6:13)
06 - Hamelmal Abate - Wanemite (6:19)
07 - Hamelmal Abate - Yazo Enba (5:16)
08 - Hamelmal Abate - Fitagn (4:56)
09 - Hamelmal Abate - Hamo (5:56)
10 - Hamelmal Abate - Linur (6:20)
11 - Hamelmal Abate - Lene Kaleh (5:08)
12 - Hamelmal Abate - Geze Mizan (5:30)
13 - Hamelmal Abate - Mesgana (5:32)
14 - Hamelmal Abate - Kalkidan [bonus] (7:21)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Elsa Kidane - Belo [2002] [eritrea]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

01. Elsa Kidane - Belo (7:12)
02. Elsa Kidane - Senbet Mshet (6:03)
03. Elsa Kidane - Temeleso (6:30)
04. Elsa Kidane - Swunwano (5:45)
05. Elsa Kidane - Dhay Giber (5:39)
06. Elsa Kidane - Akhoriyeka (7:41)
07. Elsa Kidane - Ztesebre Lbi (7:06)
08. Elsa Kidane - Newri Dyu (7:19)
09. Elsa Kidane - Znar Haben (7:49)
10. Elsa Kidane - Muziqa (5:49)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kweysha Seta - Kweysha Seta [1984 ec] [1992] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

original source : Awesome Tapes from Africa

          A quite sad, but funny story for many people down here is from when Kweysha Seta was offered a contract for this album. 

     Being illiterate it was said he was fooled to sign it, not understanding that he would only earn 500birr (about 100 usd in 1991, rough guessing) for it. It became a big hit, maybe even bigger than expected, and the cover was reprinted several times. Now it’s out of reach in most shops in Addis, and they are saying they stoped getting access to it. 

       The distributor Ethio Music Shop, with the boss named Asrat has been closed with his cassette business for maybe three years now, making money on electronics instead. This shop was a great distributor of traditional music in the 80s and 90s, I really wish that some of his releases will be made accessible again, including this amazing cassette-album of Kweysha Seta.

                                                                                     DJ  Mitmitta

Kweysha Seta - Bali helele 1984 /1992 (5:07)
Kweysha Seta - Track 02 1984 /1992 (4:50)
Kweysha Seta - Track 03 1984 /1992 (5:21)
Kweysha Seta - Track 04 1984 /1992 (4:01)
Kweysha Seta - Track 05 1984 /1992 (3:12)
Kweysha Seta - Track 06 1984 /1992 (6:05)
Kweysha Seta - Track 07 1984 /1992 (4:51)
Kweysha Seta - Track 08 1984 /1992 (3:20)
Kweysha Seta - Track 09 1984 /1992 (4:12)
Kweysha Seta - Track 10 1984 /1992 (6:20)
Kweysha Seta - Track 11 1984 /1992 (9:07)

Kuku Sebsebe - Embaye [2003] [ethiopia]

Kuku Sebsebe - Embaye [2003]

      Kuku Sebsebe (surname also spelled Sebsibe) is an Ethiopian popular singer. She lived in the Washington, DC, area of the United States for many years, but moved back to Ethiopia c. 2003. She generally performs with synthesizer and drum machine accompaniment, occasionally with the addition of traditional instruments such as the krar or other instruments such as the electric guitar. While she uses modern instruments and harmonies, her vocal style is essentially traditional, using modes such as tezeta.

         Kuku was born on December 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She spent a majority of her education at Nazareth school and graduated from American Mission. Kuku’s interest in music sprouted from a very young age. Since the age of nine, she used to entertain her classmates by mimicking all the popular artists of both Amharic and English music by using her lunch box as a drum. Her passion and love for music was nourished by her father, Dejazmach Sebsebe Shiberu’s jam sessions at their home and his musical/peptic background.

        At the age 15, Kuku presented her father’s own property [as well as collections of other verses] to her favorite singer Muluken Melesse. The first time she performed on stage with was at her graduation party at Hilton hotel. Her classmates accustomed to her caroling pushed her on stage and set her way for a career in music. This musical act led her to work both with Ibex and Wallias band. She worked with Ibex band at Ras hotel for short time and went on to be the first female singer to perform at Hilton hotel with Wallias band appearing 5 days a week.

       Shortly after her first gig, Kuku then joined Roha band at Ghion hotel, becoming the first vocalist of the group, and recorded her first hit single “Ingidayenesh’’ with Alemayehu Eshete.

       Because of the poplarity of the song she continued to recite her debut album with Roha band titled “ Fikreh beretabegne”. She also charmed her fans at villa Verde restaurant [one of the best place at the time] where she performed with Melesse Gesesse on the piano. She released her second album “ Ajere meweded” and first video clip on ETV that showcased the famous Kuku style braids. She began to perform concerts, as her fan base was growing, both nationally and internationally. In Ethiopia she showed regularly at cinema Ras in Merkato and also in Nazareth, both with Roha band. Her biggest fan that was known by all was the cake man that used to go to all her shows and always brought the celebrity a personalized cake to wish her a good luck.

        Her first international concert was at Djibouti Sheraton with Roha band where they performed along the red sea with the best view of the ocean. Shortly after, she put a show at the Sana Sheraton in Yemen, with Ethio Star Band. Her fans were so excited by her appearance, they showered her with gifts of gold and money as a customary sign of respect and to show their love and honor for the musical icon. A gesture Kuku keeps in her memories and thanks all of her fans for their hospitality. She also showed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with Roha band. During her time as an emerging artist, Kuku performed alongside with Mahmoud Ahmed, Tekele Tsefazgi, Ali Birra, Levont Fondanchi and Mengesha Getahun.

       In late 1980’s, Kuku made her move to United States. She performed her first U.S concert at Hayatt Regency in 1988 and brought the house down for her Ethiopian fans outside of their home land. She began performing in all major cities in the U.S mainly with Teddy Mekonnen. She also began her first international tour all over major European cities. Settling down in DC/VA area, she began to sing at Meskerem restaurant with Teddy Mak on the keyboard. With Teddy she released her “Ethiopia” album following by “Gize“ with Abegaz Kibrework. Kuku then took a hiatus from her singing career to be a mother, giving birth to her son Caleb, in 1996.

          Kuku moved her family back to Ethiopia in 2002 and immediately recorded her album “Gize setegne” with Elias Melka and most recently the “Tizita” album with Express band. The “Tizita” album is one Kuku holds dear to her heart and looked forward to recording most, eager to celebrate ballads of past era. Most recently she has performed in many cities in Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, Bahirdar, Gambella and Hawassa. Locally she has worked at night at Frank Addis, Indigo, Harrar Mesob, Weregenu, Harlam jazz, Fahrenheit club and is now crooning at Jazz Amba, the newly renovated Taitu hotel. She recently released her dynamic new album “ Chalkubet”, which was arranged and mixed by Abiy Arka and contained 15 songs. Kuku sings of the eternal power of time in being capable in living with people by managing a relation and its effect on life and the world around us. She has mingled flashy contemporary grooves and traditional Ethiopian flavors to lead as a journey in “Chalkubet”.

01 - Kuku Sebsebe - Embaye (5:15)
02 - Kuku Sebsebe - Ambasel (6:40)
03 - Kuku Sebsebe - Tizita (7:35)
04 - Kuku Sebsebe - Birtukane (7:31)
05 - Kuku Sebsebe - Tdar (4:44)
06 - Kuku Sebsebe - Min Alu (6:09)
07 - Kuku Sebsebe - Gublyie (5:08)
08 - Kuku Sebsebe - Shemonmanayie (5:19)
09 - Kuku Sebsebe - Anarejm (5:04)
10 - Kuku Sebsebe - Ancheyoyie (6:25)
11 - Kuku Sebsebe - Munaye (5:51)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Henok Abebe - Yamrbatal [2004] [ethiopia]

  R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

01. Henock Abebe - Honuatal (4:48)
02. Henock Abebe - Kfu Atnageri (4:19)
03. Henock Abebe - Chferaw Dera (4:28)
04. Henock Abebe - Yamelaisgnal (5:06)
05. Henock Abebe - Inema Kasabe (5:21)
06. Henock Abebe - Geremegne (5:16)
07. Henock Abebe - Yamrebatal (5:40)
08. Henock Abebe - Aned Sew (5:08)
09. Henock Abebe - Anchin Ylal (6:04)
10. Henock Abebe - Yeayne Quanqua (4:36)
11. Henock Abebe - Aynafkm Wiy (5:22)