Thursday, April 30, 2015

v.a. - [2009] - Southern Ethiopia - music of the Maale [praises and blessings] [ethiopia]

Maale are one the 40 ethnic groups of southern Ethiopia. 

The Maale music is very rich. It encompasses a cappella polyphonic singing, vocal polyphonies accompanied on the lyre, whistled polyphonies, solo flute playing, flute orchestras, horns, drums, and it displays a great originality in the vocal and instrumental techniques. 

For the Maale, music is the mean of a constant exchange between generations. The youngest ('children') praises the eldest ('fathers') and the eldest bless the youngest. Thus the music appears as a strong factor of social cohesion.

01 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Maale Zoro (2:44)
02 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Andalko (5:05)
03 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Abi (4:01)
04 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Dami (4:03)
05 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Irbe wala (2:37)
06 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Haya Haya Bolado (2:46)
07 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Nay malkiti (0:52)
08 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Gaade (4:08)
09 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Meni merti (3:30)
10 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Alo be (2:07)
11 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Shulungo (0:59)
12 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Aleko (3:34)
13 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Ank'ado (1:29)
14 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Are Indo (Pele) (3:42)
15 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Are Indo (Golo) (4:57)
16 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Salo (3:03)
17 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Durungo (1:34)
18 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Irbo Nay Koysi (3:49)
19 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Be Ta Belio & Olize (4:40)
20 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Kaye (1:16)
21 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Sorayti (1:17)
22 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Makanka dorba (2:40)
23 - Southern Ethiopia - Music of the Maale - Osta (2:59)

v.a. - [2013] - The rough guide to the music of Ethiopia [cd 1] - Traveling Trough Ethiopia (Vinyl) [ethiopia]

               Whether it conjures up legendary marathon runners, the rock-hewn churches at Lalibela, richly brewed coffee, Rastafarian spirituality, tumbling waterfalls or steaming hot springs, Ethiopia is a country famed for diverse reasons. Home to 82 million residents, the landlocked country is also birthplace to a multiplex of brilliant musics.

           On this Rough Guide the ‘Golden Age’ of recorded Ethiopian music is paid homage to via tracks by seminal Ethio-jazz musicians Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete. Other handpicked gems are selected from the Ethiopiques album series produced by Francis Falceto, an aficionado and scholar of rare Ethiopian records. The energetic music of saxophone prodigy Getatchew Mekuria references the long history of military brass bands in the country fused with a thoroughly modern rock ethos.

             Dynamic London-based ensemble Krar Collective also make an appearance and rock the track ‘Ende Eyerusalem’ with their signature forthright attitude and soaring female vocals. On the track, ‘Sek’let (Crucifixion)’ Zerfu Demissie can be heard playing the begena, a large Ethiopia harp that reverberates thick and loudly, sounding almost electronic, like a futuristic synthesizer.

             The Rough Guide to Ethiopia also considers some unique fusion projects that marry traditional Ethiopian grooves with dub, rock and punk sensibilities. Dub Colossus is the lovechild of UK musician and producer Nick Page and a host of established Ethiopian artists, including vocalists Tsedenia Gebremarkos and Sintayehu ‘Mimi’ Zenebe. Their sound is amped-up classic dub while Invisible System, a band headed up by UK based producer Dan Harper, explore a more experimental and darker sound and provide the excellent bonus album also.

       This Rough Guide is soaked in the urban cool that pervades Ethiopian music, both traditional and modern. Traverse the grooves of the ancient mountain kingdom, from antique vibes to futuristic styles. 

01.Bole 2 Harlem - Ametballe (4:58)
02.Dub Colossus - Guragigna (5:13)
03.Mahmoud Ahmed - Ohoho Gedama (4:46)
04.Getatchew Mekuria & The Ex & Guests - Musicawi Silt (4:22)
05.Orchestra Ethiopia - Datchene Koba (Trio Of Emblitas) (2:26)
06.Krar Collective - Ende Eyerusalem (7:23)
07.Samuel Yirga - Abet Abet (Punt Mix) (5:11)
08.Zerfu Demissie - Sek'Let (Crucifiction) (3:22)
09.Invisible System - Ambassel (5:29)
10.Tirudel Zenebe - Gue (Wire Tapper Edit) (4:16)
11.Alemayehu Eshete - Ney-Ney Weleba (3:46)
12.Tirudel Zenebe - Gue (7:19)
13.Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed - Mela Mela (4:49)
14.Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou - Homesickness (3:51)

v.a. - [2013] - The rough guide to the music of Ethiopia [cd 2] - Introducing Invisible System [ethiopia]

[cd 2] - Introducing Invisible System

         Invisible System actually has two new records out this year, although both of them incorporate already-released material. The group's music is featured on a digital-only album issued by World Music as part of the compilation entitled The Rough Guide to Ethiopian Music. This disc features earlier material; this enables Dan Harper to welcome new listeners to his canny mix of dark dub, metal, Ethiopian pop, and techno stylings.

          Traditional-sounding songs, such as "Hode Baba (I'm Worried He's Moving)", rock along nicely, balancing jangling guitars with a rocksteady groove and lamenting vocals. On later tracks, like "Skunk Funk" - taken from their 2011 album, Street Clan, my favorite record of last year - Harper swirls things up a bit with psychedelic wah-wah work, lovely drifty melodies, and a spooky vocal performance from Tewabe Tadesse. This is also a great way to experience tracks from The Cauldron EP, including the disorienting dub spectacular "Azmari Fuze", with vocals from wonderful singer/clubowner Mimi Zenebe.

Invisible System - Gondar Sub


01.Invisible System - Closer To The Edge (3:36)
02.Invisible System - Gondar Sub (4:04)
03.Invisible System - Tizita (4:04)
04.Invisible System - Dark entries (6:12)
05.Invisible System - Skunk funk (4:33)
06.Invisible System - Azmari fuse (6:41)
07.Invisible System - Maljam kehnoelish (If this is what you want) (4:05)
08.Invisible System - Oumabetty (3:15)
09.Invisible System - Hode baba (I'm worried he's moving) (5:58)
10.Invisible System - Mama yey (5:56)
11.Invisible System - Fiten azorkugn (I turned my face away) (5:49)


The Introducing series has brought some fabulous artists to wider attention. Its latest is a digital- only release of producer and musician Dan Harper's Invisible System. He's a former aid worker who settled in Ethiopia, built a studio and invited some of the country's finest musicians to step inside. He then returned with the tapes to the UK and introduced them to an eclectic range of British musicians.

Introducing comprises four new songs alongside seven from 2009's Punt (nominated for a 2010 Songlines Award), last year's Street Clan, and recent The Cauldron. The line-up includes Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed (whose vocal on the blues 'If This Is What You Want' is glorious), pianist Samuel Yirga and Justin Adams, as well as Dub Colossus vocalists Tsedenia Gebre Markos, Mimi Zenebe and Desta Firka. Two fast, tight new songs, 'Closer to the Edge' and 'Gondar Sub', start it off, while Tizita's powerful vocal is set to a shady, shimmering semi-electronic backdrop, and the new 'Dark Entries' mixes Ethiopian fiddle with a lean chiming guitar. 'Azmari Fuse' sets what sounds like a field recording under a canopy of layered voices, reverb and Ethiopian fiddle. Fusion can be a messy business, but by assiduously mining several deep veins, this is a well-cut gem, bringing flavours of reggae, trip-hop, dub, post-punk and psychedelia to a strong and pungent Éthiopiques core.
Tim Cumming

A note of caution: despite the title, this is not the first offering from this adventurous fusion project, and you could have heard many of the songs before. Introducing… draws from Invisible System's two previous albums, Punt and Street Clan, as well as The Cauldron EP, and adds some good extra material.
Currently a download-only affair, Introducing… will be released on CD in September, as a "bonus" album with the new Rough Guide to Ethiopia. But it's well worth checking out now if you've not heard Invisible System before.
A boldly unusual project, the man behind it all is Dan Harper. A former aid worker in Ethiopia, Harper built his own studio and persuaded several of the country's best musicians to record with him. Back in England, he asked a wide selection of British musicians to contribute, with Harper on guitar, bass, percussion and programming.

Results, for the most part, are impressive, with the African recordings matched against settings that range from dub reggae to trip hop and psychedelic rock.
Though there were sections on the Street Clan album where the Ethiopians were almost lost in the exuberant musical blitz, Harper manages to avoid such problems here: the backing is assured and at times even restrained, though still highly original.

The Ethiopian musicians include the great Mahmoud Ahmed (whose compelling voice can be heard on Maljam Kehnoelish), along with pianist Samuel Yirga and singers Tsedenia Gebre Markos and Mimi Zenebe of Dub Colossus. The British players include Justin Adamsand Ed Wynne.

Introducing… presents considerable variety, with songs like Oumabetty dominated by powerful Ethiopian female vocals, set against a rumbling bassline, while on Skunk Funk the vocals are set against a slinky groove. Gondar Sub finds African singing dissected by slashing, reggae-influenced guitar lines, and there's more reggae on the upbeat Mama Yey, which includes Jamaican-style toasting.
The closer, Fiten Azorkugn, sounds more mainstream and contemporary, though it's dressed up with throbbing bass and percussion. All told, this is impressively original stuff.

Robin Denselow 2012-07-27

It makes perfect sense that World Music Network would put out a second edition of The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia. The first, in 2004, was a near-perfect sampler comprised of classic tracks from the Ethiopiques collections. Volume 2 goes further, showcasing not only Golden Age performers like Mahmoud Ahmed and Orchestra Ethiopia but also several fusions of those old time sounds with other genres, ideas and players from outside Ethiopia. Thus we are treated to sax great Getatchew Mekuria jamming through a new version of that great standard "Musicawi Silt" accompanied by Dutch band The Ex, the funk/hip hop leanings of Bole 2 Harlem, Krar Collective's tart mix of ancient lyre riffs and modern attitude, Tirudel Zenbe's interpretation of traditional rhythms for contemporary dance floors, solo piano brilliance from Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou (who got her start way back in the 1940s) and much more, including a hot bonus disc by Anglo-Ethiopian outfit Invisible System, who mix familiar Ethiopian modes with techno, dub and all manner of sonic experimentation. Wild, wonderful and very highly recommended.
World Music Central Review

The latest of the label's unlabeled updates/Second Editions/Volume 2s of national overviews they did well by the first time (catalogue number: 1286CD) favors 21st-century material whether it's quinquagenarian Dutch punks inviting a septuagenarian saxophonist up from Addis or Tirudel Zenebe's abrasive Ethiopian disco. On some of the 13 tracks, the beats and tonalities first documented by the completist overkill of Buda Musique's Selassie-era Éthiopiques collections are infused with a funkier feel, but the old-school stuff also sounds pretty fresh-my favorite is a contemplative workout on a buzzing lyre called the begena by Zerfu Demissie, one of many artists here better served as a taste on a sampler than an album-length meal. Which in turn is provided by Anglo-Ethiopian Invisible System's bonus disc, a best-of that often surpasses their track on the overview. Start with "Gondar Sub," or "Dark Entries."
Robert Christgau USA

Which roughly translates as "With Invisible System, which like Dub Colossus dub reggae in its 'package' but has a broader spectrum of styles handling, including post-punk and even techno, finally we get another side of Ethiopian music presented."

Dutch review of the Rough Guide

People really began discovering vintage Ethiopian music with the superb Ethiopiques series, which showed just how varied and soulful the scene was in Ethiopia during the 1970s. It's arguable that it's just as vibrant these days, as this excellent compilation shows. There are some international collaborations from Dub Colossus and Invisible System (who are given an entire bonus album with this disc and are well worth hearing, managing to be sonically adventurous, incorporating many elements, including dub, into their sound, without losing the essential Ethio-centric core of the music), but the focus is on the homegrown. There's still soul, from Mahmoud Ahmed, then the strangeness of Krar Collective, who've been garnering widespread praise, and it's easy to understand why. Jazz has long been part of the spectrum and the glorious Samuel Yirga offers plenty here. The overall variety of the disc makes it a joy, an excellent snapshot of a country's music, and an indispensable primer. Add in cult favorites the Ex on one cut and you have a real winner.

Chris Nickson / itunes


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Elias Negash - Jazzed Up [2012] [ethiopia]

       Elias Negash is an accomplished musician who has combined his Native Ethiopian music with his jazz education, and influences from the world music segment. He played through the seventies and became one of the pioneering figures to have brought Reggae and African music to the Bay Area with smash hit groups including Obeah, Axum, Caribbean All Stars and the Rastafarians

      After moving to Los Angeles Elias worked on the Royal Princess Cruise ship out of South Hampton England for four months. He has also done soundtrack for Television Movie in titled Glitz and also preformed on a TV series Murder She Wrote. Elias has also traveled as a Solo pianist and with Magyk Band to Japan.

Elias Negash - Belew Bedubaye

In addition to his role as a musician, Elias dedicates his time in multiple humanitarian efforts such as fundraising HIV Aids research and treatment, building schools and water-well in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Further, Elias is currently the president of Ethiopian Arts forum that strives to accomplish its objectives through the presentation of Ethiopian Music, Dance, Poetry, Drama and Visual Arts to the community.

Elias has put out five solo CDs titled Love, Harrambe (lets pull together), Peace, Feel Like Dancin’ and his new CD titled “JAZZED UP”

01 - Elias Negash - Perfect Ten (6:02)
02 - Elias Negash - I Lied to You (7:10)
03 - Elias Negash - Sway (8:29)
04 - Elias Negash - Antchim Endelela (5:26)
05 - Elias Negash - Memories Overwhelmed Him (4:52)
06 - Elias Negash - I Dare You (5:39)
07 - Elias Negash - No Women No Cry (6:15)
08 - Elias Negash - Tizeta Garedew (5:01)
09 - Elias Negash - Crazy (4:32)
10 - Elias Negash - Our Love Is Here to Stay (7:20)
11 - Elias Negash - Harlem Nocturne (5:34)
12 - Elias Negash - Elias Salsa (4:54)
13 - Elias Negash - Addis Ababa Bete (7:44)

Maritu Legesse - Yebati Nigist [2007] [ethiopia]

01 - Maritu Legesse - Shemonmane (5:25)
02 - Maritu Legesse - Zerafewa (6:45)
03 - Maritu Legesse - Bati (5:13)
04 - Maritu Legesse - Tizita (6:46)
05 - Maritu Legesse - Zomawa (5:03)
06 - Maritu Legesse - Arada (6:26)
07 - Maritu Legesse - Akale Wube (5:00)
08 - Maritu Legesse - Wegene (4:54)
09 - Maritu Legesse - Weleba (4:35)
10 - Maritu Legesse - Beljigiye (8:34)
11 - Maritu Legesse - Ssekota (5:45)
12 - Maritu Legesse - Ambassel (7:25)
13 - Maritu Legesse - Maleda (5:26)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

AE590 Menelik Wossenachew - [197?] - Eshet Eshet - Menew Bacher Kere [7''s][wav] [ethiopia]

MENELIK WOSSENACHEW: Menew Bacher Kere / Eshet Eshet

Amha AE 590 A

Menelik Wossenachew: Menew Bacher Kere
Accompanied by the Venus Band 

Arranged by Dawit Yifru

Amha AE 590 B

Menelik Wossenachew: Eshet Eshet
Accompanied by the Venus Band 

Arranged by Dawit Yifru

Year: ?
Record pressed in Greece
Multi-colored vinyl

Note: "Eshet Eshet" is listed first on the picture sleeve, but is the B-side on the record labels.

v.a. - The Ethiopian Millennium Collection [CD 3 - Chic-Chic-Ka] [2007] [ethiopia]

     The golden age of Ethiopian popular music (as heard on the fabled ETHIOPIQUES series) is famous in part for the sparsity of material that it yielded: The state-owned recording industry was largely a ramshackle government vanity, and while music of the music it captured was strikingly haunting, only a few dozen tracks were recorded in the 1960s and '70s... 

Neway Debebe - Yetikimt Abeba

       Since then, the floodgates have opened as Ethiopia has more or less entered the modern world -- more artists are making and recording more music than was dreamed possible back in the politically repressive "good old days," and the fruits of this renaissance are heard on this 6-CD set. 

        Each of these discs is also sold separately, and each centers on a general theme -- one for ballads, one of traditional music (which is quite nice), a disc's worth of contemporary dance music and one of "chic-chic-ka" rhythm, a popular modern style. There are also two discs worth of instrumental music -- one featuring recent recordings of more traditional themes is quite nice, while the other has a contemporary feel and is closer to modern "smooth jazz." 

      The tracks are from the late 1990s and early '00s -- the artists are generally younger, more modern musicians, although a few old-timers like Mahmoud Ahmed are still alive and kicking, and sound as cool as ever. Although this collection doesn't have the same eerie power as the '70s-era recordings, anyone who got into the ETHIOPIQUES discs will want to check this out as well, to see where the music has gone since then.

01 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Anchi Bale Gamme (6:43)
02 - Muluken Mellesse - Nanu Nanu Ney (6:28)
03 - Hamelmal Abate - Awdamet (6:10)
04 - Theodros Tadesse - Albo (5:41)
05 - Neway Debebe - Yetikimt Abeba (5:13)
06 - Theodros Kassahun - Lebo (5:44)
07 - Hana Shenkute - Hode Ba-Le-Abisho (5:49)
08 - Dawit Mellesse - Ayisemashim (4:57)
09 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Derra & Ye-Selalewa (7:01)
10 - Tehsome Wolde - Litishegnegn New Fikire (4:31)
11 - Martha Ashagari - Gamme Gamme (5:01)
12 - Abinet Agonafir - Lene Kalesh (6:31)
13 - Hirut Girma - Wusheten (5:22)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - [2009] - Zemen [2009] [ethiopia]

       Teshome's career stretches back over thirty years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a member of the influential Soul Ekos Band in the late 60s.

      Teshome Mitiku began performing at local schools and nightclubs when he was just a teenager. In the late 60's, singer and keyboardist Teshome Mitiku; his brother and alto saxophonist, Theodros "Teddy" Mitiku; trumpeter, Tamrat Ferendji; bassist Fekade Amde-Meskel; drummer, Tesfaye Mekonnen; guitarist, Alula Yohannes and singer, Seifu Yohannes formed the influential Soul Ekos Band

      The band released numerous songs. Teshome Mitiku composed and wrote Gara Ser New Betesh, Yezemed Yebada, Mot Adeladlogn and Hasabe.

Teshome Mitiku - Susegnash

01 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Bati (7:46)
02 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Hasabe (5:42)
03 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Kante Gar (5:58)
04 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Susegnash (6:43)
05 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Abren Enwal (4:30)
06 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Gimash Sewnet (6:00)
07 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Himem Sewnet (5:05)
08 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Almetam Kerehugn (5:35)
09 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Eshururu (5:05)
10 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Tinsae (6:59)
11 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Tizitaye (6:16)
12 - Teshome Mitiku & Frehiwot Lemma - Zemen (5:58)

Bahta G. Hiwot - The Best of [ethiopia]

   E  X  T  E  N  D  E  D  
R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   

Bahta Gebre Heywet - Gizie

       Bahta Gebre Hiwot began his musical career as a member of the house band at the Ras Hotel in Addis Ababa. Hiwot played with this band for many years but he managed to record several solo singles, including the charming "Tessassategn Eko", which was arranged by master Mulatu Astatke.

01. Bahta G. Hiwot - Degmo Endemin Alesh (2:50)
02 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Teresahugne-Ende (2:33)
03 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Gizewin-Alawkim (3:01)
04 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Minew-Tadeyalesh (2:07)
05 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Kal -Ayisheshegim (2:21)
06. Bahta G. Hiwot - Anchim Endelela (3:39)
07. Bahta G. Hiwot - Sikay Zakealye (4:09)
08. Bahta G. Hiwot - Kalish Tesebere (2:10)
09. Bahta G. Hiwot - Ahunim Ezaw Negne (2:16)
10. Bahta G. Hiwot - Yetilacha We Rie (4:00)
11. Bahta G. Hiwot - Anchi Lij (3:32)
12. Bahta G. Hiwot - Befirkrua Teyeze (2:08)
13. Bahta G. Hiwot - Ya Ya (2:13)
14 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Metiche-Eskayish (2:22)
15 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Milas (3:16)
16 - Bahta G. Hiwot - Ye-Fikir-Azmera (2:52)
17. Bahta G. Hiwot - Sem E (3:41)
18. Bahta G. Hiwot - Wede Harar Guzo (3:01)

AE 410 Essatu Tessema - [1972] - Fikir Bekumena & Ayamaru Eshete [7''s] [wav] [ethiopia]

ISSATU TESSEMA: Ayamaru Ishetie

Amha AE 410 A

Essatu Tessema and Seifu Yohannes: Fikir Bekumena

Arranged by Tewolde Redda 
Reissued on 'éthiopiques-25: 1971>1975 Modern Roots' (Buda Musique, France) as "Feqer bèqumèna".

Amha AE 410 B

ISSATU TESSEMA: Ayamaru Ishetie

Essatu Tessema: Ayamaru Eshete
Arranged by Tewolde Redda 
Reissued on 'éthiopiques-25: 1971>1975 Modern Roots' (Buda Musique, France) as "Ayamaru eshèté".

Essatu Tessema - Fikir Bekumena  [ፍቅር በቁመና]

Year: 1972
Record pressed in Greece

Note: "Issatu Tessema" is spelled Essatu Tessema" on the labels.
"Fiker Bekumena" is spelled "Fikir Bekumena" on the labels, "Ayamaru Ishetie" is spelled "Ayamaru Eshete"