Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Martha Ketsela - Welo Mejen [2007] [ethiopia]

         She is a painter, a poet, a "flower designer," and, for a stake in life, a dutiful mother. But, in the main, Martha Ketsela is one of the very few female Ethiopian artists struggling for a breakthrough in her expertise in the United States. And, with all due respect to possible future commentaries by critics (we expect that to come in the future), she appears to have surfaced as an artist that even more makes her one of the very few to make things of their craft happen.

Martha Ketsela - Welo Mejen

        According to art watchers, in her current works Martha brings a refinement of what once was a roughly hewn skill. She now combines a schooling that blends an Ethiopian upbringing whose influence she highlights in her discourse as well as her art and a western libertarian mark that possibly might have resulted from her further training as an artist (and, of course, living) first in Germany and later in the United States. 

     Martha nevertheless says she remains first and foremost an Ethiopian. If we are to judge her by the works she presented at the WorldSpace lobby in Washington DC. some of Martha's paintings indeed subscribe to an Ethiopian spirit. Though very much gripped by what she has lived through since 1979 when she left Ethiopia, principally western landscape and western ideas and thoughts; she occasionally managed to probe into her Ethiopian beginnings. Some of her recent paintings such as "Music" and a few more manifest a mix of Ethiopian calligraphy (not new to Ethiopian artists in the Diaspora) and western tendency for abstraction.

Martha Ketsela - 01 - Tezeta (6:04)
Martha Ketsela - 02 - Hagere (4:57)
Martha Ketsela - 03 - Welo Mejen (6:18)
Martha Ketsela - 04 - Fegegta (6:00)
Martha Ketsela - 05 - Fekere (5:44)
Martha Ketsela - 06 - Musica (5:13)
Martha Ketsela - 07 - Geze (4:36)
Martha Ketsela - 08 - Zemeta (5:22)
Martha Ketsela - 09 - Audamet (4:38)
Martha Ketsela - 10 - Gebre (4:35)
Martha Ketsela - 11 - Egesegesalhu (4:42)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lasta Sound - Lasta sound [2010] [usa +ethiopia]

       The name “Lasta Sound” evokes imagery of ancient Ethiopian culture and civilization. Lasta is one of Ethiopia's ancient regions, having been immortalized in songs and stories both from within Ethiopia and without. 

Lasta Sound - ጥቁር ሴት (Black Woman) - From the movie Journey to Lasta

          Lasta Sound exploded onto the scene in 2002, Lasta Sounds music was ultra modern in its arrangement, and production. It melded elements of Ethiopian music with Reggae, Funk and a dash of Afro-Cuban flava. The core of Lasta Sound consisted of Kirubel Assefa on Bass/Musical Director, Teferi Assefa on Drums and Tsegaye Selassie as Vocalist. 

        They introduced their self titled debut CD, “Lasta Sound”. They had conscious, forward thinking lyrics, with well thought out hooks and awesome driving bass lines. It was an auspicious debut. Lasta Sound was featured in Wondwossen Dikran's independent movie entitled “Journey to Lasta”. The soundtrack was also the recipient of Best Music Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2005. Kirubel, Tsegaye and Teferi were featured as the principal characters in the movie. 

      Subsequent appearances and performances cemented their appeal within their fans. Their fans response in Ethiopia was overwhelming. Lasta Sound is on the rise again.This time, Kirubel took on a larger role, as Musical Director/Producer/Writer and moved over as keyboard player. Tsegaye brings his incredible stage presence, and vocal talents. Mesgana Mulat on bass. Replacing Teferi on drums is Reggie Spivey. Kamasi Washington on Saxophone, and Ryan Porter on Trombone. 

The first single from the sophomore effort is entitled “Maraki”. In the context of the song, Maraki means “the girl who has captured my heart”. It’s an ode to a beautiful girl whose physical beauty and charm has rendered Tsegaye defenseless, and he professes his love and adoration for her. Sung for the most part in Amharic, it’s infused with reggae, while still retaining its Ethiopian musical sensibilities.

Lasta Sound - 01. Tekur Set (Black woman) (4:42)
Lasta Sound - 02. Mela Belu (5:37)
Lasta Sound - 03. Kidest Hagere Ethiopia (4:33)
Lasta Sound - 04. Kedashgn (4:49)
Lasta Sound - 05. Ethiopiawit Konjo (5:57)
Lasta Sound - 06. Negsalech (4:35)
Lasta Sound - 07. Prophecy (4:44)
Lasta Sound - 08. 6 Kilo (4:40)
Lasta Sound - 09. Mochalehu (5:28)
Lasta Sound - 10. Lasta Solution (3:37)

   band memebers :   

Kirubel Assefa – Bass, Keyboard & Hammond B3 Organ, & Background Vocals
Tsegaye Selassie – Lead & Background Vocals
Mike (Ras Mike) McTaggert - Guitar
Kamasi Washington - Saxophone
Ryan Porter - Trombone
Johnny Blackman - Drums
Aziz Saye - Percussions

Friday, October 16, 2015

Melkamu Meaza - Deep Abyssinia Mixtape - l [2015] [ethiopia]

         Melkamu Meaza is born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Fan of music since childhood and wanted to be a professional musician but joined a medical school in Addis Ababa University , Gondar college of medical sciences (AAU-GCMS). Then department of surgery in AAU- MF (medical faculty), then public health in ACIPH (Addis coninental institute of public health). Currently he is working as a consultant surgeon. 

        Despite lack of time to make music, he kept in touch by listening to music of all genres. He plays (very little) kirar, guitar and keyboards. Almost since 2 years and 6 months, he set up a small home studio first with only a laptop (9 of Mixtape tracks done only with a laptop) and now is better  (laptop + keyboard + headphones) plus lots of  passion. 

       He became a self thought hobby musician. Melkamu spent almost all spare time on it.  He is inspired by Eric Mouquet, the co-founder of the band Deep Forest. He also like compositions by Mulatu Astatke, Abegasu Shiota and Elias Melka from Ethiopia. Melkamu is planning to work to promote music therapy in Ethiopia and also produce a world class album.

Melkamu Meaza - 01 - Aba Geda - feat. The late Laurete poet Tsegaye Gebremedhin (5:56)
Melkamu Meaza - 02 - Aba alem lemene - feat. GiGi  (10:26)
Melkamu Meaza - 03 - Adwa - feat. GiGi, Kassa T. (5:45)
Melkamu Meaza - 04 - Konso Vibe - feat. various artists (4:21)
Melkamu Meaza - 05 - Mercato - feat. Laurete Tsegaye Gebremedhin. - (5:33)
Melkamu Meaza - 06 - Wengel -  - feat. various artists (3:34)
Melkamu Meaza - 07 - Yigodal - feat. Gossaye Tesfaye, Haile Roots, v.a. (5:20)
Melkamu Meaza - 08 - Tenanekegn - feat. Tewodros Kassahun, Aster Aweke (4:30)
Melkamu Meaza - 09 - Sew Malet - feat. Sebhat Gebre-Egziabher  (4:13)
Melkamu Meaza - 10 - Gamo Gofa - feat. Tsalke, v.a. (3:07)

Music mixed and mastered by Melkamu Meaza; MD, Mph 
(Deep Abyssinia)
All credit for samples used in this project goes to the respective artist or owner.
Released for home entertainment only.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Judy Teffera - Queen of the Nile [2010] [ethiopia]

                  Judith Teffera was born and raised in Arsi Asela, a city located in central Ethiopia. Bitten by the performing bug at a young age, Teffera performed with classmates at the Ras Dargie School. With her regular flashy attire and outgoing demeanor, she quickly acquired the nickname "Picture". Teffera received inspiration and encouragement from a well-respected musician in the Ethiopian National Guard, Zewdu Legese. Legese was also responsible for starting and leading the Ras Dargie School music band.

Judy Teffera - Wodaje

            With the support of her father, Teffera moved to Sweden to receive her high school education. A few years after, Teffera moved to the United States, continuing her college education in Boston. Then she moved to Washington D.C., becoming a member of the international community of the nation's capital. Music had not been taken out of the picture, as she continued to perform and sell her music in the U.S.A and Toronto, Canada. By the end of the 1990's, Teffera had drawn away from the Ethiopian music scene, concentrating on her career and furthering her education. She received her Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Technology from Southeastern University. Soon after her graduation, she was offered a position in the United States Federal Government in Washington D.C.

        Teffera writes and sings her own compositions in the Ethiopian language, while creating a unique style that still stays true to Ethiopian music. 

          With her return to music, Teffera wants to make her focus clear. Through the message in her music, she wants to raise educational awareness and boost the morale of youth in Ethiopia. 

        While spurring emotions for change and consciousness, Teffera wants Ethiopians to be proud of their heritage and culture. Proceeds from her music sales will finance the dream to empower Ethiopian youth.

Judy Teffera - 01 - Shamo (5:16)
Judy Teffera - 02 - Wodaje (5:51)
Judy Teffera - 03 - Atrakegn (6:16)
Judy Teffera - 04 - Degifegn (5:41)
Judy Teffera - 05 - Simagn (5:31)
Judy Teffera - 06 - Woubye (6:01)
Judy Teffera - 07 - Weretegna (6:07)
Judy Teffera - 08 - Lalebola (3:55)
Judy Teffera - 09 - Fikre (5:59)
Judy Teffera - 10 - Semonun (6:28)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

v.a. - Ethiopian music mix made for Norwegian Radio Nova - Recordings from 1961 - 1980 [mix by Mitmitta]

01 - Orthodox Priests * Music from the Central Highlands / 12” Tangent, 1970

02 - Nyabole, Hamar (South-Ethiopia) * Playing the Musical Bow /12”, 1970-76

03 - Derashe Performers (South-Ethiopia) * Flutes, Steps, Meleket & Voice / Field Recording

04  - Axum Performers, Tigray (North-Ethiopia) * Wedding Ceremony / 12” Tangent, 1970

05 - Gurage Performers, Butajira (Central-Ethiopia) * Dance Performance / 12” Tangent, 1970

06 - Orchestra Ethiopia * ‘Goraw’ (War-encouragement song) / Ethiopiques Vol.23, early 70s

07 - Asellefech Mulat * ‘Ante Ledj’, Hagir Fikir Theater Group / From Reel, 1961

08 - Munaye Menberru * ‘Tezeta’ / 7”, mid 70s

09 - Menelik Wossenatchu * ‘Aderetch Arada’ * His Imperial Majesty Theater Band / 7”, early 70s

10 - Bezunesh Bekkele * ‘Fikir Kesekesegn’ * Imperial Body Guard Band / 7”, early 70s

11 - Hirut Bekkele * ‘Zimam Nehwoy’ * AA, Police Orchestra / 7”, 1971

12 - Singer & Title Unknown * Eastern Police Orchestra / from Reel, mid 70s

13 - Wegayehu Degennetu * Title Unknown * Harer Police Orchestra / from Reel, late 70s

14 - Zennebech Tesfaye * ‘Wendemiye’ * HIM Theater Band (Amhara Wedding Song) / from Reel

15 - Essatu Tesemma * ‘Tchebo Aymollam’ (Amhara Wedding Song) / 7”, 1970

16 - Popular Band Songs Mash-up *

17 - Ali Muhammed Birra * ‘Awash’ * Adu Birra Band (Oromo) / Ethiopiques Vol.28, 1975

18 - Ayalew Mesfin * ‘Wegene’ * Black Lion Band / 7” 1975

19 - Telahun Gessesse * ‘Sak’ * Orchestra Ethiopia / 7” 1976

20 - Traditional Group of National Theater * ‘Wind of Revolution’ (Communist song) / 12” Russia, 1980

thanks to Mitmita 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Nebeyu Tesfaye - Instrumental [2007] [ethiopia]

Nebeyu Tesfaye - 01. Balewashentu (6:28)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 02. Yalcanchi Alnorem (8:03)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 03. Lubanjaye (5:46)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 04. Bitgulila (6:18)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 05. Bemela Besebeb (5:49)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 06. Aydelem Lebicha (7:21)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 07. Demo Jemeregn (5:48)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 08. Dehna Hugne (7:27)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 09. Aynema Wedajesh (5:08)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 10. Harambe (7:17)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 11. Eda (6:28)
Nebeyu Tesfaye - 12. Anchen Mesay Konjo (5:30)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Black Flower - Abyssinia Afterlife [2014] [b]

      Born out of a surreal experience and with strong devotion Black Flower takes you on a lucid voyage through the gardens of the Abyssinian afterlife. A highly remarkable place, far away from what you and I would call reality. It is a place where strange creatures and unfamiliar sounds merge into a harmony of the weird and the beautiful.

       It is said that these are the secret realms of the long past legendary ruler of Ethiopia, Sir Prester John. Some even claim that he composed these sounds as a way of ruling his ancient land. Whether this is fact or myth, nobody knows for sure...

     Now, for the first time, we have the chance to get a glimpse of this mystical empire. It is no secret any more that Nathan Daems has been chosen to witness this special place. Being such an overwhelming experience, he felt the urge, even the obligation, to share this with the real world. The result is a record he applicably called “Abyssinia Afterlife”.

     It was no easy task finding the right people for this job. In his years of musical exploration, Nathan kept searching for the right people to team up with. A challenging process, because they needed to embrace the idea of looking to music from a whole new perspective. They needed to be able to capture the Abyssinia Afterlife as if they had visited it them-selves. Finally he found four young and dedicated spirits who could do the job.

 This is the moment Black Flower was born.

  Black Flower - Upwards  

 Track list:

    1. Solar Eclipse 6:39 
    2. Upwards 4:59 
    3. I threw a lemon at that girl 5:20 
    4. Jungle desert 4:50 
    5. Winter 5:35 
    6. Star fishing 5:42 
    7. The legacy of Prester John 3:41 
    8. Again I lost it 4:57 
    9. Abyssinia afterlife 7:45

 Nathan Daems - Soprano saxophone, Tenor saxophone, Melodica, Flute 
 Jon Birdsong - Cornet 
 Simon Segers - Drums 
 Wouter Haest - Piano and keyboards 
 Filip Vandebril - Bass, Effects