Tuesday, September 30, 2014
R E U P L O A D
In 2004, Teddy released his most successful single to date, Tarik Teserra ("History was Made"), in honor of of world record holder and 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Kenenisa Bekele. The song captured the emotions of the entire Ethiopian nation. A music video was compiled including footage from other great Ethiopian long distance runners, and of Bekele's 10,000 meter gold run in the 2004 summer Olympics. Throughout the video, Bekele is referred to as the new Anbessa ("Lion") in Ethiopian long distance running, succeeding the great Haile Gebrselassie. Bekele is shown several times looking back for his mentor Haile Gebrselassie, who was unable to run the 10,000 meter race at full pace due to a lingering injury.
The single raised Afro's reputation as one of the greatest Ethiopian musical artists of his time, and heightened the release of his second album.
13 songs, 68 minutes. Enjoy.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Haile Roots - Melkam Yamarech
Ethiopian singer Haile Roots released his first album of Amharic-language reggae called Chiggae (indicating a mix of the Ethiopian 6/8 time rhythm called “chikchika” and reggae).
Chiggae is the debut Amharic language album from Hailemichael Getnet, better known by his stage name as Haile Roots. The 33-year-old singer came up with a display of real roots, showcasing compelling, melodic riffs and interesting lyrics. The 13-track album, arranged and composed by Elias Melka, takes you on a journey of love, righteousness, empowerment, and is filled with rhythms that blend perfectly with his incredible voice.
Haile first came to attention years ago when he was featured in Teddy Afro’s ‘Bob Marely’ and he later released a single track tilted ‘Yes I’ that he played live at Juvents Club and Millennium Hall. That single track is included in the newest album under a different title, Ethiopia.
Recorded in Addis Ababa’s Begena Studio, the new album is engaging and entertaining collection on issues of solidarity, unity, exile, loss of youth and transcending bitterness. Jamaican and Ethiopian stars ranging from Luciano to Mikey General and Eyob Mekonnen have been featured in the album. Continental drift has rarely sounded funkier.
Album opener Woudnesh is an encouragement for women and affirmations of faith in the power of the human spirit. The singer appeals to young Ethiopian women to be strong in the face of sexual exploitation, and material obsession. Life’s challenges can be met, he says.
The title track Chiggae is a hybrid of the Ethiopian chikchika and Jamaica reggae, putting a distinctly local spin on the reggae form. The lyric goes :
Leave me alone sadness and sorrow
The sun will shine tomorrow
No more cry and sad life again
I will be stronger than my pain
The relative manner provides the ample story telling for that particular thing that has happened to us all. This is particularly evident in the sixth track, Yetefa yigegnal, where the claps summon the urgency required to claw forth the truth for the prospective listener. Melkam Yamarech, showcases the singer’s romantic side.
The twelfth track Harambee (which in Swahili means unity) also shows strength in arrangement. It has a very nice atmosphere and the instrumentation progresses enough underneath it to give you a sense of development.The message calls for creating the environment for African to move together as one people. “The more we realise what we can do together as a unit, the farther we will get as an African nation,” he says.
The lyrics go :
Weh need so much love inna Africa Land
Righteousness di way fi all human kind
No more tribal war no more confusion
One love my people one revelation
Overall, Chiggae is one of the better contemporary reggae albums to be heard in a while, with its evocative songwriting and neat production. His homilies about peace, hope, love, unity are sincere, delivered with power, accurate time and pitch.
Haile Roots - Wedenesh (4:21)
Haile Roots - Bado Neber (3:28)
Haile Roots - Chiggae (3:03)
Haile Roots - Nisueh Quanquayie (4:10)
Haile Roots - Byemehalu (3:59)
Haile Roots - Yetefa Yigegnal (2:58)
Haile Roots - Melkam Yamarech (3:59)
Haile Roots - Ethiopia (4:45)
Haile Roots - Chew Lerasesh (3:51)
Haile Roots - Leman Biyie (4:05)
Haile Roots - Harambie (3:53)
R E U P L O A D
01. Dawit Tsige - Andegana New Fikresh (4:48)
02. Dawit Tsige - Ine Kalanchi Alnorim (5:13)
03. Dawit Tsige - Bete (5:46)
04. Dawit Tsige - Yaradaw Tizita (5:54)
05. Dawit Tsige - Yehilme Tizita (5:47)
06. Dawit Tsige - Betam New Emwodish (5:38)
07. Dawit Tsige - Yagere Lij (6:42)
08. Dawit Tsige - Ha Hu Hi Ha (4:02)
09. Dawit Tsige - Mechem Mechem (5:19)
10. Dawit Tsige - Tamrialesh (8:04)
11. Dawit Tsige - Alem (4:46)
12. Dawit Tsige - Wiy Wiy (4:44)
13. Dawit Tsige - Alesh Wey (5:07)
14. Dawit Tsige - Yene Muzika (7:54)
Friday, September 26, 2014
Rahel Yohannes - Menelik
Although Rahel Yohannes is a formidable singer who has performed professionally for more than 20 years, her entrance into the music business was almost by coincidence. As the manager of an Ethiopian restaurant, Rahel would frequently entertain her customers by singing acappella for them. Her patrons began to look forward to her impromptu performances and, one evening, one of these admirers brought the late Ketema Mekonnen, a well-known singer and player of traditional musical instruments, to the restaurant and asked Rahel to join him in a song. She performed the haunting ballad “Tizita,” and a couple of years later released her first album. Since then, she has released nine recordings as a professional singer.
In addition to being an accomplished entertainer, Rahel is an entrepreneur who has owned and operated various nightclubs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Presently, she entertains ever-growing audiences at the Fasika Restaurant and Nightclub in Addis Ababa.
"Menelik", a tribute to the late emperor of Ethiopia, is Rahel’s tenth album.
01 - Rahel Yohannes - Hager Ethiopia (5:07)
02 - Rahel Yohannes - Liguazew (5:20)
03 - Rahel Yohannes - Tizita (6:14)
04 - Rahel Yohannes - Mushira (6:23)
05 - Rahel Yohannes - Ye-Wolo Lij (5:42)
06 - Rahel Yohannes - Menelik (5:40)
07 - Rahel Yohannes - Tizita (6:14)
08 - Rahel Yohannes - Kurate (4:33)
09 - Rahel Yohannes - Work Aleme (5:34)
Thursday, September 25, 2014
R E U P L O A D
Hirut Bekele or Hirut Beqele is one of the most popular and famous Ethiopian singers of her generation.
Hirut Bekele is one of the few talented Ethiopian artists of the 80’s. Her music is still very popular and is often an inspiration for young artists.
Hirut Bekele's personality as well as her unique music make her a real diva in the history of Ethiopian music.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Mahmoud Ahmed - Tew Limed Gelaye
1 Yèshèga Lidj Nègèr (The Affair of a Charming Woman)
2 Yasèlamè Lalo (Gouraguè Song)
3 Lebèsh Kabashen (Put on Your Festival-Day Robe)
4 Tezeta Garèdèw (Hiding Behind Melancholy)
5 Wèy Feqer (Slow/Fast) (Oh ! Love !)
6 Endénèsh Bèlulegn (Ask Her How She Is)
7 Tezeta (Nostalgia)
8 Kulun (Who Put Khol on Your Eyes)
9 Mèla Mèla ( (The Trick) (How Can I Win Her Love?)
10 Dèra (Animated)
Mahmoud Ahmed - vocals
Kebret Zekiwos - guitar
Abate Zerihun - saxophone
Akilu Zewde - saxophone
Dawit Yifru - keyboards
Giovanni Rico - bass
R E U P L O A D
Tamrat Desta (born 1978) is an Ethiopian singer and vocalist.Desta was born in the small town of Tiqur Wuha near Awassa, Ethiopia. He is the second of three children, all boys. After a few years, his family moved to Shashemene and later back to Awassa, where he finished high school. All three towns are located approximately 250 kilometers south of the capital Addis Ababa.
In 1998, Desta moved to Dire Dawa, situated 515 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, to live with his guardian and work at Cherqa Cherq Yekenet Buden. There, he received basic training in performing with a band and as a vocalist.
In 1999, Desta relocated to Addis Ababa to pursue his music career. He released his first album Anleyaym in 2004, for which he received wide acclaim. Most of the lyrics on this CD were written by Habtamu Bogale, and the melodies of six tracks were composed by Tamrat.
01. Tamrat Desta - Lemn Yelegm Alsh (5:07)
02. Tamrat Desta - Ancin Be Cale (6:24)
03. Tamrat Desta - Sew Alew (5:37)
04. Tamrat Desta - Yelbyn (3:56)
05. Tamrat Desta - Inde Yhuda (4:35)
06. Tamrat Desta - Anleyaym (5:05)
07. Tamrat Desta - Alhedm (4:52)
08. Tamrat Desta - Akimye Nesh (4:07)
09. Tamrat Desta - Aynwan Lyew (4:29)
10. Tamrat Desta - Leihtnet (4:53)
11. Tamrat Desta - Ahun Teredahut (4:45)
12. Tamrat Desta - Yelbyen (4:45)
13. Tamrat Desta - Inagn New Mayet (4:42)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
R E U P L O A D
Teshome Mitiku has had a legendary 40-year career at the heart of Ethiopian music, forming the massively popular Soul Ekos Band in Addis Ababa in the 1960s. The Soul Ekos Band was the first to combine traditional Ethiopian music with the sounds of electric soul and popular music from the West. They were absolute superstars, playing regularly in front of crowds of 60,000 in Ethiopia, Sudan & Kenya.
Teshome Mitiku is featured on volumes 1, 4 and 10 of the celebrated Ethiopiques series from Buda Records, featuring thrilling discoveries from the vibrant Ethiopian music scene of the 1970s. His songs have also appeared on the popular Rough Guide series of world music compilations.
In 2002, Boston's popular Either/Orchestra released Afro-Cubism, a six-track album that contained Teshome Mitiku's "Yezemed Yebaed."
Teshome Mitiku's 1995 release Yegna Neger was voted the Best Ethiopian Album Recorded Since 1990 in a recent poll by Netsanet, Le Ethiopian Radio, of Ethiopians living worldwide.
Now based in Washington DC, Mitiku formed the first Ethiopian Music Association in 1996. About forty artists from the association performed in front of 3,000 people at the Kennedy Center for a benefit concert that raised money for two orphanages in Addis Ababa and Debra Berhane.
Topia's Deluge is essentially a mainstream pop recording. Its synth lines and other melodic instrumentation, its orchestrations and beats -- both danceable and smooth -- will sound familiar to any listener of contemporary radio, and Mitiku's robust yet subtle vocals and rounded-edges production is easily accessible. English translations are provided, allowing the listener more of an opportunity to understand that these songs of love and spirituality, equality and freedom from hate and war, are universal, language barriers be damned. Mitiku's clear and strong voice, and these uncomplicated songs, would no doubt translate beautifully to a live situation as well.
02. Teshome Mitiku - Topia's Deluge (Egzio) (8:11)
03. Teshome Mitiku - Love Me As I Am (6:23)
04. Teshome Mitiku - Song of Songs ("Wubnesh Mahaleye Mahaleye Ze Solomon") (7:57)
05. Teshome Mitiku - Senseless War (Badme Shiraro) (6:57)
06. Teshome Mitiku - Hallelujah (Hallelujah) (5:44)
07. Teshome Mitiku - Song for Alem (Alemeye) (6:20)
08. Teshome Mitiku - Lies (Mot Yalesh Manew) (5:40)
09. Teshome Mitiku - Ballad of Amariah (Menew Zem A (5:38)
10. Teshome Mitiku - Leader-Less People (Ande Sew) (6:10)
11. Teshome Mitiku - Far Away But Near (5:52)
12. Teshome Mitiku - Why (Ere Menew) (6:41)
Friday, September 19, 2014
R E U P L O A D
Born and raised in Merkato, the largest open market in Africa, where the primary merchandise passing through is locally-grown agricltural products such as Coffee and chat. Merkato also happened to be home to the biggest hustlers in Addis Ababa, the shottest slang and new fashion. Reggae and Hip Hop arrives in Merkato first, then it hits the other parts of the city. When the entire Addis Ababa city goes to sleep, Merkato is always up.
Abdu Kiar grew up listening to music, he fell in love with Roots Reggae, Hip Hop, Tilahun Gessesse and Mahmoud Ahmed. He was always listening and imitating his favorite Reggae's singers and Hip Hop artist such as Biggie Smalls, Mase, and others. He was doing the imitations while adding his own Amharic lyrics to them. He began performing in night clubs around Addis Ababa, audiences loved his style of mixing these different generes of music. He was approached by many producers to record and release an album. However, Abdu Kiar wanted to finish his school and get a degree. He never thought of music as away to make a living, he was doing music for the love of it and he continues to do so to this date. He began attending College and doing music on the side as a hobby. However, the Ethiopian and Eritrean war broke out in 1998. Many Eritreans were deported from Addis Ababa including some of Abdu Kiar's family members. He escaped and went to Saudia Arabia where he became a salesman. It was hard for him, being away from the people he loved and his neighborhood. He was feeling like a motherless child, because Merkato was his home and Ethiopia was the only mother he knew. That war left some scars and deep on wounds on his soul. When the war settled down, he managed to go back home and the first thing he did was write down all his pain and expressed all of his emotions the best way he knew how through music. Accompanied by his producer Dagmawi Ali, he wrote and entire album at one of his favorite stores in Merkato. Twenty days later, the entire album was recorded and released.
Afterward, Abdu Kiar Had to go back to Saudia Arabia and report to his job. The album included the track "Merkato Sefere" meaning merkato my home, dedicated to Merkato, Addis Ababa and Ethiopia. The song opens with a Reggae skank and Abdu begins to sing asking Addis Ababa, "Did stop looking after the ones whom you raised and got lost, did you stop wondering where did they go? Your humble and great children are scattered all over the world suffering, missing you and everything about you, please call them back and and unite them again, when they get together you are their biggest topic and favorite subject. He goes on and says "I don't have any mother beside you, you are my everything, My beloved home, which I don't have any other one". The song became an instant classic and biggest Ethiopian hit of the new century. The most requested song in radios, clubs, and everywhere Ethiopians reside. It became a national anthem, Ethiopians outside of their country related to his words so much. Abdu Kiar himself didn't expect that kind of respond from the song, when the news reached him, he quitted his day job and decided to make music as his full time occupation. He began an extensive world tour for the next three years. Fans declared him the unofficial mayor of Merkato and the proud son of Addis Ababa. He put Merkato on the map and gave it a new face: State of mind. Before the song, Merkato had a negative image and bad reputation. It's a place where find stick-up kids roaming the streets non stop looking for something to rob and hardcore thugs ruled the street. Abdu Kiar showed the softer side of his neighborhood, the caring, sharing and how they take good care of each others; One of them was equal all of them.
Abdu Kiar began working on his second album, writing full time and co/producing it with Dawit Tilahun. Fiker Be Amarigna which means love in Amaharic was one of the top selling albums of 2006. Each song was a huge hit in there, his fan base grew and he came to the USA in 2007. He's constantly pushing the envelope in his music, trying new ideas and playing by his own rules. Ethiopian's live shows in America used to be a singer accompanied by a keyboard player and sometimes a bass player. Live drummers were no longer needed to cut the cost for the promoters and generate huge pay day for the singers. Abdu didn't agree with that, he brought in Tefferi one of the best Ethiopian drummers on the scene, Yohannes Tona "bass", and Behailu Agonafir "keyboard" with him. His message was clear "take the entire band or leave it. That cost him some gigs and beef with promoters, but he stood his ground and said "Music is not about paying my bills and making huge amount of money, it's a message and one must do the best he or she can to delivered it, we need to bring our Ethiopian sound to its highest form".
Abdu Kiar's live shows are considered to be some of the best Ethiopian shows. The energy between him and his band is incredible. "Basically you get your money worth" as one critic noted.
01. Abdu Kiar - Merkato Sefere (5:05)
02. Abdu Kiar - And Alegn (5:19)
03. Abdu Kiar - Min Yilenal (5:44)
04. Abdu Kiar - Zoro Zoro Adam (4:53)
05. Abdu Kiar - Manim Aytamenim (5:08)
06. Abdu Kiar - Deegeet (5:01)
07. Abdu Kiar - Mata Mata (5:25)
08. Abdu Kiar - Lucy (4:09)
09. Abdu Kiar - Alfual (5:28)
10. Abdu Kiar - Yetal Yetal (5:04)
11. Abdu Kiar - Let Teken (4:52)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Addis To Omega - Dub Colossus Soundsystem
Although Dub Colossus made their name fusing Ethiopian music with reggae and funk, in this, their fourth album, band leader Nick Page has rung a change in focus: a departure from the home of Rastafari icon Haile Selassie I for a thorough exploration of Jamaican influenced sounds.
Addis to Omega is bursting with funk-influenced reggae and stripped back dub, brash dancehall, jumping ska, and sincere lethargic grooves.
The album opens with Nick Page's alter ego Dubulah's bold fuzzy bass and Joseph Cotton's post-Rastafarian vocals on Boom Ka Boom (and the Dub Disciples). At first appearances a strong dancehall track, key changes and eerie chord progressions hint at further depth.
The record continues to feature prominent vocals, but Dub Colossus are at their strongest on their instrumental pieces Soft Power, Tale of 2 Cities, and the epic Orpheus Underground. Without the distraction of accomodating authentic vocals and traditional song structures a space is formed for composition, open improvisation and more profound mood changes.
Although recognisably following a reggae-based theme, the impressive and diverse collection of contributors on the release occasionally introduces a surprise. Natacha Atlas and Samy Bishai bring a more exotic sound on The Shape of Things to Come - a song more Arabian than Carribean - or the atmospheric A Voice Has Power featuring the mesmerising low rumbling vocal work of Albert Kuvezin.
Family Man and the title track give the brass contributors Horns of Negus time to develop classic long brass chordal lines, while the funky Fight Back provides opportunity for Ben Somers to channel Maceo in his tenor solo.
A well-executed exercise in reggae-fusion, Addis to Omega is a fifteen track journey through the many facets of its sub-genres. Afro-beat percussion and pentatonic Ethio-Jazz have been swapped for political lyrics, fast-paced reggae and clean dub. While Dub Colossus have undeniably changed musical tack, the original twists and large collective approach remain the same.
review by Dan Bergsagel
Dub Colossus - Family Man (3:53)
Dub Colossus - The Casino Burning Down (5:05)
Dub Colossus - We Are the Playthings of the Rich and Famous (4:05)
Dub Colossus - Fight Back (4:42)
Dub Colossus - Addis to Omega (Amnesis Mix) (5:33)
Dub Colossus - Keep On Rocking (6:17)
Dub Colossus - Soft Power (4:17)
Dub Colossus - Madmen (3:50)
Dub Colossus - Mi Dad (3:18)
Dub Colossus - A Tale of Two Cities (4:34)
Dub Colossus - The Shape of Things to Come (5:46)
Dubulah (Nick Page):
drums, bass, guitars, vocals, keyboards, Dub FX, programming, percussion;
Nick Van Gelder: drums;
Dani Fabregas: drums;
Winston Blissett: bass, vocals;
Sebastian Martinez: bass;
Bernard O’Neill: double bass, piano;
PJ Higgins: vocals;
Mykael S. Riley; vocals;
Toby Mills: keyboards, percussion;
Tim Whelan: piano, zither;
Horns of Negus (Ben Somers, Neil Waters, Bob Dowell):
brass and woodwind;
Paul Chivers: percussion, drums, keyboards;
Harry Brown; trombone;
Orphy Robinson: vibraphone;
Samy Bishal: violin;
Boleslaw Usarzewski: mandolins;
Simon Smith: melodica.
Friday, September 12, 2014
A political refugee, Zeleke Gessesse, was forced to leave his beloved homeland of Ethiopia 30 years ago after the nation fell into a crippling state of political suppression and economic strife. His personal eventually led Zeleke to the United States, where he persued studies studies at the university level, and focused intently on developing his burgeoning musical career. Eventually, Zeleke was joined by his brothers and fellow musicians from Ethiopia. As a musical collective, they formed a band called Dallol. Zeleke’s band was signed in the early eighties to Bob Marley’s TUFF GONG label. In 1984, Zeleke’s musical innovations and talents earned him an invitation to join Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. For nine years, Zeleke served as a integral member of the band, touring the world, and echoing Jah’s message to the masses.
Throughout his tenure with The Meloday Makers, Zeleke was a key contributor to the albums Conscious Party and One Bright Day. In particular, his musical input was critical in the development of the tracks “Tomorrow People,” and “Black My Story,” two of the bands most popular and widely adored songs.
During his successful musical career Zeleke was able to, eventually, accumulate enough capital to purusue a dream he had long harbored. He had always dreamed of owning and operating a world class, live music venue. His vision was to create a venue where the best Reggae and World Music artists could showcase their talents in a positive environment.
In 1986, Zeleke became a partial owner of The Wild Hare, which is located in Chicago, Illinois, and he has spent the last 24 years investing his heart and soul in to crafting it into something truly special. The results of Zeleke’s hard work are evidenced by the celebrated reputation The Wild Hare now enjoys on an international scale. In 2007, major interior renovations were completed; the most dramatic to date. These enhancements serve to enforce the visitor’s perception that they’ve entered into a dynamic and exciting cultural oasis. The beauty of the new interior, combined with highly sought after artists routinely stalking the stage, has created a common perception amongst music lovers that The Wild Hare in the same pantheon as Chicago’s most regal musical landmarks.
In addition to The Wild Hare into the respected venue it is today, Zeleke has never stopped recording, producing and performing his own transcendent music. His critically acclaimed albums include Come to Me, Out of Africa and Selam. The eclectic musical infusion one hears in Zeleke’s music is truly unique. He often employs Ethiopian and reggae rhythms. Lyrics are sang in both Amharic and English - with a spattering of Jamaican patois mixed in as well. This unique music results in a pleasing, signature sound which has gathered him a fiercely loyal following. As most critics agree: Zeleke’s music is truly a rarity in its universal ability to inspire, enlighten and entertain.
Though very much a musical icon in Chicago, Zeleke’s heart belongs to his motherland. In fact, his ultimate dream is to build another Wild Hare, along with a recording studio, back home in Ethiopia. In doing so he will come full circle and complete the journey he began decades ago as a refugee fleeing his homeland with only a dream.
01. Come On Down 3:27
02. Don't Let Me Down 3:57
03. I Don't Want To Lose You 4:24
04. Shivering Me 4:48
05. Ahun Ahun 4:33
06. Slippin' Into Darkness 4:07
07. Universal Children 4:41
08. Kotumae 4:49
09. Ethio Melody 4:01
10. Inner City Blues 3:52
11. Ashkaroo 4:18