Monday, March 31, 2014

Badume's Band - Qelemewa [2010] [france + ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

          Badume's Band is a eight-piece, atypical Breton (French) group that masterfully recreates the intoxicating sounds of the Ethiopian Golden Era of Music - when Addis Ababa was grooving to the sound of twist, soul, rhythm & blues and jazz in the 1970s. 

         They have become the official backing band of Mahmoud Ahmed & Alemayéhu Eshété

1. Badume's Band - Sab Sam Argign (4:38)
2. Badume's Band - Yemewded Neger (4:35)
3. Badume's Band - Qelemewa (4:03)
4. Badume's Band - Mela Mela (6:34)

Eric Menneteau (vocals), 
Xavier Pusset (tenor saxophone), 
Pierre-Yves Mérel (tenor saxophone), 
Frank Le Masle (keyboards), 
Rudy Blas (guitar), 
Etienne Callac (bass), 
Antonin Volson (drums), 
Jonathan Volson (percussion)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Alemayehu Eshete - Addis Ababa [1992] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

             This is a great CD of Alemayehu's (the Ethiopian Elvis) greatest works of his seasoned musical career. The old authentic Ethiopian melodies are composed with mixed symphonyish, jazzy, rich musical extrvaganza. With his powerful bass voice, his vibrant and jubliant immersion in his performance is apparent in his songs. 


       He offers his beatuful versions of Tizita and Ambassel (classis Ethiopian melodies). My favorite is however, Marign Biyeshalo with poetic rhymes ('Kodaye tegefo yihunilish chama'- peel my skin off and make a shoe out it for her). I recommend it to anyone who loves the original Ethiopian melodies and appreciates its composition with 21st century instruments.

PS: Watch out for the saxophone solos. 

01   Addis Ababa Bete 5:53
02   Yewoine Haregitu 4:20
03   Manihun Tilek Saw 4:29
04   Yeworma Zengada 3:44
05   Ambassel             7:30
06   Denyew Denaba    3:21
07   Marign Biyeshalo 4:08
08   Chigerish Bene Alfoual 5:14
09   Kotuma Fikrie     4:31
10   Tizita            5:34

Bass - Deredge Tefera
Clarinet - Ivo Papasov
Drums - Tamara Haregu
Engineer - Stephane Caisson
Guitar - Jean-François Pauvros
Keyboards - Berhane Kindane , Nebiyu Tesfaye
Producer - Francis Falceto
Saxophone - Philippe Herpin
Saxophone [Tenor] - Daniel Pabœuf
Trumpet - Yohannes Tekola
Violin - Pascale Meley

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shambel Belayneh - Hager [1996] [ethiopia]

   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

       When it comes to traditional Ethiopian Music, Shambel Belayneh is well known for his singing and his great skill with the Masinko, a traditional Ethiopian musical instruments. For over 20 years, he has entertained audiences across the globe. Currently residing in the United States, Shambel's heart remains in his homeland and he is deeply committed to performing the music of Ethiopia throughout the world.

       When it comes to traditional Ethiopian music, Shambel Belayneh is well known not only for his singing talent, but also for his great skill with the masinko. He is deeply committed to performing the music of Ethiopia throughout the world. Hager, Shambel's sixth recording, is an attempt to blend traditional musical instruments (masinko and krar) with western instrumentation.

       For those Ethiopians far far away from home, Shambel's music brings back great and unforgatable memories. Especially songs number 1,2 and 3. What better way to remenice about your country and roots than with music like 'Hager'? Song number 2, 'Jemeregn' hits home with it's lyrics. The fact that Shambel is one of the best vocalists of our country also contributes to the essence of this cd. Shambel, cheers to you!

        A CD full of happy moments and wonderful music. If you like Ethiopian dancing (with the shoulders and all) this is definately the CD for you. The combination of modern instruments with Shambel's masinko creates an exciting blend that is bound to get you off of your seat and into the dance floor. To me the songs are all great, but I would like to point out song number 6 for its amazing rhythm. If you are Ethiopian you already have it, and if you are not - go get it !

1. Shambel Belayneh - Amoraw Siyaish Wale (6:24)
2. Shambel Belayneh - Indenesh Indenesh (5:39)
3. Shambel Belayneh - Jemeregn (5:54)
4. Shambel Belayneh - Anchin Iyalkugn (5:50)
5. Shambel Belayneh - Ye Geter Shega (5:59)
6. Shambel Belayneh - Limita Bahirdar (6:54)
7. Shambel Belayneh - Neyna Kashign (7:31)
8. Shambel Belayneh - Ya Le Hager Ayamirim (7:49)
9. Shambel Belayneh - Kalem Alaminew (7:52)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

v.a. - Ethiopia:Music To Die For [by Nick Wall] [2012]

originally posted at music-to-die-for blog >

Aster Aweke – Kabu

Ethiopian music podcast by Nick Wall

Dur Dur - Rafaad iyo Raaxo [1986] [somalia]

originaly posted at Likembe blog >

   Dur Dur's songs are almost always drenched in love. To the best of my knowledge, they didn't address social or political issues during the military dictatorship and that's why their lyrics didn't make a lasting impression on me or flare up my interest in the band; hence my sketchy knowledge about their work and background. I was really delighted with the post-Siad Barre cassette Andreas posted at Kezira, in which they've several socially engaged tracks.

         These songs are mainly in southern vernacular languages. I hail from about 1100 kms further up North and, though I understand the basics fairly well, I don't have the required baggage to fathom the linguistic and literary subtleties inherent to these dialects. Neither can I contextualize the songs since I don't know if, as was common during the military dictatorship, some of the songs were meant as protest double entendres, were adopted as such by the general public, if events were associated with them etc. That's why I'd rather not venture into summarizing, let alone publicly interpreting, the lyrics. 

       Nevertheless, all the songs are conspicuously about love and I've tried to translate the tracktitles. Corrections are, of course, most welcome!


The following six songs are from the soundtrack of "Rafaad iyo Raaxo" ("Misfortune and Comfort"), a 1986 tragicomedy that was also filmed a couple of years later. 

   01 - Dur Dur - Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee   

"Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee" means "Rejected Due to My Circumstances." The vocals are by Muktar "Idi" Ramadan.

   02 - Dur Dur - Saafiyeey Makaa Samraayee!   

In this song vocalist Shimaali Axmed Shimaali pleads, "Oh, Saafi! I Won't let You Go" (Saafi is a female name).

   03 - Dur Dur - Waanada Waxtarkayga Waaye   

"Waanada Waxtarkayga Waaye" means "This Advice Does me Good/I'm Well Advised". Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow & Maryan Naasir.

   04 - Dur Dur - Muraadkay Waa Helee   

"Muraadkay Waa Hellee" means "We've Reached Our Goal." Vocals by Muktar "Idi" Ramadan & Sahra Dawo.

   05 - Dur Dur - Ma Hurdee   

"Ma Hurdee" ("I Can't Sleep"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Muktar "Idi" Ramadan.

   06 - Dur Dur - Rafaad iyo Raaxo   

"Rafaad iyo Raaxo" ("Misfortune & Comfort"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Muktar "Idi"Ramadan.

These next songs are from two tapes without album or song titles. The track names are thus the popular titles under which the songs were dubbed by the public (see the post on Iftin). 

   07 - Dur Dur - Waxan Sugi Ma Helayaa?   

"Waxan Sugi Ma Helayaa?" ("Shall I Get What I'm Waiting For?") is also known as "Saqda Dhexe Riyadiyo Sariir Maran" ("Midnight Dream in an Empty Bed"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

   08 - Dur Dur - Shaacaan Ka Qaadaa   

"Shaacaan Ka Qaadaa" ("I'm Revealing all of it") is also known as "Shallay Ma Roonee" ("Remorse Is Pointless"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   09 - Dur Dur - Rag Kaleeto Maa Kuu Riyaaqayee?   

"Rag Kaleeto Maa Kuu Riyaaqayee?" ("Are Other Men Admiring You?"), aka "Reerkaagaa Joogee" ("Stay With Your Family"). Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   10 - Dur Dur - Boodhari Sidiisii   

Cilmi Ismaaciil Liibaan (better known as Boodhari) is the main protagonist in a true love story that took place in in the 1930s in Berbera, a town in the current Somaliland. He was in his thirties when he fell head over heels in love with Hodon, a teenage girl whose parents were opposed to a relationship between the two due to the difference in age and social class; he worked in a bakery and she belonged to one of the richest families in the area. Hugely burdened and dismayed by the unrequited love, Boodhari composed numerous poems and songs about this forbidden love. Hodon eventually got married to another man and, though this is not corroborated by watertight evidence, Boodhari became so disconsolate that he finally committed suicide. It's not established beyond doubt that all the poems and songs attributed to Boodhari were indeed written by him, but his legend and compositions have certainly been part and parcel of Somali love stories ever since. The song "Boodhari Sidiisii" ("In Boodhari's Footsteps") is also known as "Maruun ii Bishaarey!" ("Surprise Me Once With Good News!"). The vocals are by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   11 - Dur Dur - Doobnimaadey Maka Dogoownee    

"Doobnimaadey Maka Dogoownee" ("Getting Old Single") is also known as "Dersi Anaa Lahaa" ("I Need A Lesson [In Love]"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

   12 - Dur Dur - Ilwaad Quruxeey!   

"Oh, Angelic Beauty!" Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   13 - Dur Dur - Jaajuumoow Jees   

The title of this song means "A Joking Madman." Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow & Sahra Dawo.

   14 - Dur Dur - Waxla Aaminaan Jirin   

"Waxla Aaminaan Jirin" ("Nobody To Confide In/NothingTo Trust"), aka "Is Yeelyeel" ("Simulation, Pretense"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Admas - Sons of Ethiopia [1984] [usa+ethiopia]

originally posted at Ghostcapital blog - here >

  ... "synth driven Ethiopian-American smooth groove" ...  

1. Admas - Anchi Bale Game (5:15)
2. Admas - Bahta's Highlife (5:58)
3. Admas - Tez Alegn Yetintu (7:52)
4. Admas - Kalatashe Waga (5:25)
5. Admas - Wed Enate (4:55)
6. Admas - Samba Shegitu (4:40)
7. Admas - Astawesalehu (5:27)

Admas - Indigo Sun [2000] [usa+ethiopia]

                                         R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

           Henock Temesgen and Abegasu Shiota formed ADMAS (which means "HORIZON" in Amharic) in Washington, DC in 1984. ADMAS, initially a backup band, went on to compose, arrange and produce music for most Ethiopian Artists working in the U.S., Europe and Ethiopia. They believe their music is reflective of today's world, where globalization is defying geographic boundaries.

       ADMAS band members, Henock and Abegasu, are graduates of the distinguished Berklee College of Music in Boston, Ma. Upon graduation, they moved to Manhattan, NY becoming active in the local Jazz and African music scene. ADMAS toured the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Canada with Ethiopian artists, and played at different festivals, including, The Montreal Jazz Festival, Summer Stage at Central Park, Hollywood Bowl, to name a few.

       In 1997, they were joined by Zakki Jawad a longtime friend and fellow musician. Zakki, an accomplished musician in Reggae and World Music circles, has been actively performing in the U.S and abroad for the past 16 years. He has recorded and performed with several Reggae and African musicians, such as the ITALS from Jamaica. Between them they have extensive live and recording experience.

       ADMAS’ latest and sophomore effort, produced by the legendry studio icon Bill Laswell, reflects their continual work in fusing African/Ethiopian ideas with other world music elements. 

       This album also features prominent musicians such as Omar Hakim (drums - previously with Sting and Madonna), Karsh Kale (Drums and Tabla), Lili Haydn (Violin – Seal, Plant/Page), Peter Apfelbaum (SaxophoneDon Cherry, Hieroglyphics Ensemble), Art Baron (Trombone – Duke Ellington), Graham Haynes (Trumpet and Flugel-horn, - Steve Coleman, Gigi), Gigi (vocals - signed by Chris Blackwell to Palm Pictures recently topped the World Music charts in US and Europe), and Abdou Mboup (Percussions - Angelique Kidjo, Jean-Luc Ponty) to name a few.

        The emergence of ADMAS as an original band comes on the heel of the establishment of their own independent label and Production Company, C-Side Entertainment, LLC. ADMAS’ fusion of Ethiopian and other World Music elements is the basis for their unique sound, which they hope to bring to worldwide audience. They believe their music is reflective of today’s world, where globalization is defying geographic boundaries.

01. Admas - Dialogue (6:28)
02. Admas - Kulubi Express (5:59)
03. Admas - Indigo Sun (6:03)
04. Admas - Chiffera (5:54)
05. Admas - Pharaoh (4:40)
06. Admas - A Prize of Peace (6:22)
07. Admas - Won (6:52)
08. Admas - Dankira (4:55)
09. Admas - Rift Valley (5:57)
10. Admas - Pharoah (extended) (6:47)

Monday, March 17, 2014

v.a. - Ililta! - New Ethiopian Dance Music [2011] [ethiopia]

Tirudel Zenebe - Gue

01  - Tirundel Zeneb- Gue  [Gurage side]
02  - Tesfay Taye - Selame  [Konso side]

v.a. - Ililta ! New Ethiopian Dance Music [2009]

                       R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

Chalachew Ashenafi in NL

       Most people are familiar with the Ethiopian music of the ‘golden seventies’. The great CD-series of ‘Ethiopiques’ focuses on this remarkable period of truly amazing and rich music. The era of the big brass bands came to an end in the period of the ‘Derg’, the military government in Ethiopia from 1975 till 1991. After that, the scene seemed confused.

        Many great musicians were forced into exile or passed away. The horns mostly disappeared and were replaced by cheap keyboards everywhere. Awful bombastic overproduced ‘plastic’ pop productions flooded the market. Synthesisers, vocoders, drummachines and hasty productions that all sound alike.

       But in the last few years something new is emerging. Young producers have started combining traditional rhythms and strong dance beat production. The result is very original, uplifting and very danceable music. The gurage, wollo, gondar, oromo and other traditional rhythms work wonders for this new dance music. And the Ethiopian youth loves it. It can be heard not only in the hip areas like Bole, but all over Addis and other Ethiopian urban areas. Blasting from restaurants, taxi’s, coffeeplaces, grocerystores and Addis’ giant market, the Mercato.

       The ‘Ililta’ CD is a compilation of this new Ethiopian dance music, recorded with a new generation of singers over the last decade. A cross-selection of the production work of Mesele Asmamaw and some of his close colleges.

Tilahun Gessesse - Ethiopian urban modern music vol 4 [1940-2009]

    R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

       Tlahoun Gésséssé is widely regarded as the "Voice" of Ethiopia. Born in 1940, his singing and recording career began in the 1950's until his recent death earlier in 2009. As many followers of the Ethiopiques series will know, the incredible 17th installment is dedicated to Tlahoun, largely featuring arrangements by Mulatu Astatke and a selection of the country's finest ensembles. This record is essentially another "Best Of..", featuring a selection of tracks taken from the 60's & 70's golden period of Ethiopian music, when Tlahoun's tenor was recognised as the best around, playing to Haile Selassie I on numerous occasions.

       It's standard practice in any country for the most celebrated singers to receive backing from the best players they can offer and Tlahoun worked with the top musicians in Ethiopia. His powerful vocals are well matched by blazing funk, heartfelt soul and superb Ethiopian rhythms, that still sound as fiery and impassioned today as we can only imagine they did back then. The hot and hazy swing of 'Kulun Mankwalesh' or the steaming funk of 'Aykedashem Lebé' show Tlahoun's diversity and range perfectly and are worth the price of admission alone. If you dig any of the Ethiopiques series or Sublime Frequencies Group Doueh this is an absolute must.

01. tesfaye abbebe & ayalew abbebe - alegntaye (4:39)
02. trad - kulun mankwalesh (arrangement by mulatu astatqe) (2:59)
03. tezera hayle - michael - aykedashem lebe (4:58)
04. afewerq yohannes & tezera hayle - michael - beyet new mengedu (4:00)
05. tezera hayle - michael - ene negn wey antchi (4:30)
06. tezera hayle - michael - yene felagote (4:07)
07. afewerq yohannes & girma hadgo - tezalegn yetentu (3:41)
08. tezera hayle - michael - tchuheten betsemu (3:31)
09. menelik wesnatchew - lantchi biye (3:07)
10. trad - kulun mankwalesh (arrangements by mulatu astatqe) (4:40)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ali Birra - 5 albums [ low bitrate]

       Ali Birra (born September 29, 1947) is a famous Oromo singer, composer, poet and nationalist. He was born in Ganda Kore village in the city of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

Ali Birra - [1992] - Sin Afán

Ali Birra - [1998] - Hin Yaadin

Ali Birra - [2005] - Jaalala Biyyaa

Ali Birra - [2005] - Remix

Ali Birra - [2009] - Falmi Mirga Keetiif & Barnoota

Betsat Seyoum & Abbebe Fekade - Urban Azmaris of Ethiopia [1996]

       Born in 1965 in Addis-Abeba, Betsat Seyoum Abrha began in 1985 in a couple of the many bars in the capital before opening her own cabaret in 1990, which has now become one of the most popular in Addis. She aspires to the glory of the modern pioneers of Ethiopian music who play with synthesizers, saxophones, and rhythm boxes, while remaining faithful to the essence of the azmari art. 

       In opposition to Betsat who has not inherited her gift from any family member, Abbebe Fekade comes from a long line of azmaris from the Gondar region, one that has always been the source of a large portion of the country's musicians. He acknowledges his longing for "modernity", but he also knows how to express all the admiration that he holds for the venerable and venerated azmaris like Yirga Dubale and Bahru Qenie.

       In Ethiopian musical tradition, an azmari is a wandering entertainer, a minstrel, or a travelling troubadour who crisscrosses through the Christian regions of the country with his voice and instrument. He is the priviledged vector of popular music and is as fundamental in Ethiopian society as are the griot in Mandingo countries or the lautar in Moldo-Valachia.

01.  - Enegenagnalen (3:37)
02.  - Ambassel (5:28)
03.  - Bati (9:57)
04.  - Abeba Abeba (5:12)
05.  - Anteye (3:12)
06.  - Tizita (7:39)
07.  - Aysh Ayshenna (5:15)
08.  - Bati: [Live] (13:07)
09.  - Anteye / EndeneshGedawo / Yelewen  Abay [Live] (8:39)
10.  - Enegenagnalen [Live] (3:40)