Sunday, June 25, 2017
Friday, June 9, 2017
Hi there, you are about to travel ... and I mean far away, in an alternative world where OZFERTI , the nubian wizard, is bringing to you his ethiohop tracks. Coming from Addis aboumbap, 11 chapters where ethiojazz meets Jazzy boumbap, psychedelic trap, progressive Dub and spicy electro. Beware ladies and gentlemen, you will not be coming back from this journey.
11 Colorfull Reworks of Ethiojazz classics mixed with electronica / hiphop and bass music , from Mulatu Astatke to Mahmoud Ahmed.
Netsanet People !
OZFERTI - Exit Addis (4:02)
OZFERTI - 01 - Welcome to Addis (2:40)
OZFERTI - 02 - Tezeta (3:45)
OZFERTI - 03 - Black Lion (4:10)
OZFERTI - 04 - Fetsum (3:27)
OZFERTI - 05 - Rock Haram (3:28)
OZFERTI - 06 - Netsanèt (2:36)
OZFERTI - 07 - Mahmoud (4:36)
OZFERTI - 08 - Princess (4:24)
OZFERTI - 09 - Sondéféri (3:19)
OZFERTI - 10 - Déwel (3:32)
OZFERTI - 11 - Exit Addis (4:02)
Saturday, April 15, 2017
R E U P L O A D
For the past three years, Tommy T (Thomas T Gobena) has been the bass player for gypsy punk powerhouse Gogol Bordello, the New York City-based band known for their blend of Gypsy, punk, dub reggae, metal and flamenco.
Tommy was born and raised in Ethiopia and the knowledge of global rhythms he brings to Gogol’s sound has become part of their unclassifiable approach to music making. With the encouragement of his Gogol Bordello band mates, Tommy has produced his first solo effort, The Prester John Sessions, an aural travelogue that rages freely through the music and culture of Ethiopia.
"In the 70s, funk, wah-wah pedals, and jazz had a huge impact on Ethiopian music," Tommy explains. "The Prester John Sessions will give people an idea about the musical diversity of Ethiopia, which includes influences and ideas borrowed from the sounds of the 70's with the added bonus of up-to-date production values."
Tommy discovered the story of Prester John in Graham Hancock’s book The Sign and the Seal. “Hancock was looking for the Biblical Ark of the Covenant,” Tommy says. “His quest led him around the world, from Middle East to Europe and back to Ethiopia. While doing his research, Hancock discovered the legend of Prester John. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Prester John was an unknown Christian king with massive troops that got the attention of European kings. Prester John is the character I use to symbolize the man who will bring Ethiopian culture to the rest of the world.”
To fulfill his vision, Tommy started digging through Ethiopian folk music, choosing melodies he could improvise on. He also wrote his own compositions based on traditional modes. “A lot of popular Ethiopian music is based on a 6/8 beat called chikchika, but there are also many other rhythms in Ethiopia that have their own unique characteristics. I play with The Abyssinian Roots Collective on the album. They are sometimes known as The ARC, which coincidentally ties into the Ark of the Covenant and the Prester John story. We’re mostly Ethiopian, so getting the music down was easy. I gave them the tunes, and then we improvised the arrangements so the music has an organic feel.”
Tommy composed and produced the music, with his brother Henock contributing to the tunes “Brothers” and “East-West Express.” The tracks were written at Tommy’s home studio and cut live in a couple of studios around Washington, DC and overdubs were laid down in real time with a final mix by Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, Gogol Bordello) that gave it the feel of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters jamming with Ethiopian godfathers The Imperial Bodyguard Orchestra. The music blends Ethiopian modes with dub reggae, funk, and jazz, for a sound that’s at once familiar and mysterious.
“The Eighth Wonder” has a light, jazzy feel based on the chikchika rhythm, played in the style common to the Wollo province, home to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. “Much like the pyramids of Giza, much has been made over the 11 stone churches of Lalibela, often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder,” Tommy explains. “This track uses the chikchika beat, but expands it into other directions.” Tommy’s melodic bass weaves through the tune’s horn and Massinqo (an Ethiopian single-stringed instrument played like a violin) lines, while the drummer keeps the beat with a series of tom rolls complimenting the kick drum. Dub effects keep the instruments dancing in and out of the mix. “Beyond Fasiladas” references the Castle of the emperor Fasiladas in Gondar, Ethiopia’s capital in the 17th Century. It uses a fast, driving beat from Gondar and interpolates several traditional melodies. Massinqo, guitar and an energetic bass line give the tune a funky, relentless pulse. Setegne Setenaw plays the melody on Massinqo. “The Response” features vocals from Gigi and Tommy. It’s a love song with an almost unbearable sense of longing. Tommy plays acoustic guitar and bouzouki with a West African feel influenced by the music of Mali, although the melody is purely Ethiopian. “Eden” pays homage to the lush and raw landscapes of Ethiopia. Gigi’s wordless vocal is full of joy. The slow dubby rhythm and a muted blue flugelhorn give the track a timeless feel. “Oromo Dub (Cushitic dub)” is driven by Tommy’s phat bass riddim and revolves around traditional tunes that existed ages ago. Abdi Nuressa sings in Oromo, one of the many languages in Ethiopia, and his voice drifts through intergalactic dub space taking this ancient song into the future. The album’s ten tracks epitomize the Ethiopian ideal of Semena Worq - Wax and Gold. The wax is the surface of the music, bright and modern, with its jazzy, funky accents. The gold signifies the depth of tradition that gave birth to these sounds, nuggets culled from one of the oldest cultures on earth, presented by Tommy and his compatriots in all their shining beauty.
Tommy T was born and raised in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. “There was always music in our house,” Tommy recalls. “When I was five, my older brother Zelalem got an acoustic guitar from my father. By the time I was six I could pick up a guitar and play what my brothers were playing.
Tommy had no intention of becoming a musician, but when his brother Henock moved to Washington DC, Tommy followed. “I looked up to him as a brother and a bass player. After he sent a copy of his first album to us in Ethiopia, I started playing acoustic guitar like a bass. When I came to the States, I got a real bass. There are over 200,000 Ethiopians in the DC metro area, so I was able to make a living playing in Ethiopian bands.”
Tommy completed a degree while playing in bands three or four nights a week. “I played in Ethiopian bands, and then started a reggae band called ADOLA which also backed many well known Ethiopian artists such as Aster Aweke and Gigi to name a few. I was also interested in other styles of music including R&B, hip-hop, and neo-soul. I worked with Wayna [Wondwossen, recently nominated for a best urban performance Grammy for her song “Lovin’ U (Music)”] and produced a couple of tracks on her Moments of Clarity album with my friend Abegasu Shiota.” While collaborating on a project with guitarist Eran Tabib, he heard Gogol Bordello was looking for a bass player familiar with international grooves.
His years with Gogol inspired Tommy to develop The Prester John Sessions, another band with a global outlook. The reggae band he and his friend Zedicus (Zakki Jawad) started in DC had evolved into The Abyssinian Roots Collective; they helped Tommy bring The Prester John Sessions to life. “I believe in music without boundaries,” Tommy says. “Music should be inclusive, not exclusive. We should use sounds from everywhere to create a universal vibe. The music business isn’t friendly to that kind of thing, but the people who hear it respond to it well. Gogol is a rock band, but the sound is global. People who love music know the best music is created without boundaries and limitations. The Prester John Sessions take that idea to the next level.”
01. Tommy T - Brothers (5:03)
02. Tommy T - The Call (4:04)
03. Tommy T - The Response (Featuring Gigi) (4:43)
04. Tommy T - The Eighth Wonder (6:51)
05. Tommy T - Oromo Dub (Cushitic Dub) (4:34)
06. Tommy T - East-West Express (4:21)
07. Tommy T - Tribute To A King (4:11)
08. Tommy T - Beyond Fasiladas (3:16)
09. Tommy T - September Blues (3:29)
10. Tommy T - Eden (Featuring Gigi) (5:53)
11. Tommy T - Lifers (Michael G Easy Star Remix feat.
Eugene Hutz And Pedro Erazo) (2:06)
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
R E U P L O A D
A / Mulatu Astatke - Mulah 2
B / Oscar Sulley - Uhuru Mash Up
Ethiopian Mulatu Astatke's unique blend of jazz, funk and afrobeat has found its way into many peoples record collections recently since the three quality "Ethio Jazz" LPs were reissued on the L'Arome imprint, and further popularised when the "Modern Jazz Instrumentals" record was used as the soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch film "Broken Flowers".
Even before all of that people were unwittingly hearing some of these killer breaks on Mo' Wax era breakbeat and triphop tracks, all this combined should be telling you - this is music of the highest quality!!!And what we've got here is a remix for the dancefloor that's gonna be a monster, an esteemed West London producer has brought the heaviest of broken beats to create an exquisite piece of broken beat Ethio funk fusion.
The b-side is an equally strong rework of Ghanian Oscar Sulley's "Bukom Mashie".
Friday, November 11, 2016
R E U P L O A D
In 2004, Quantic, Miles Cleret and B+ went to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to find records and meet with Mulatu Astatke. It was fitting then that when Quantic came to LA to DJ for the Mulatu show he came with records almost all found on that first unique trip. Trawling eBay is not the same as a trip to East Africa.
Quantic made the trip and on the evening of February 1st, 2009, he buckled everyone at the Luckmann Theatre into their seats, and took us on a one hour flight back. Here is the DJ set in its entirety. And don't be alarmed by a few crackles and pops, that's what 30+ year-old records sound like.
1. Addis to Axum (55:21)
DJ Mix – Quantic
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Daniel WoldeGabriel - Befikirish Meyaze
Daniel Woldegabriel - 01 - Kiber Temesigen (5:06)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 02 - Hodie Baba (4:12)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 03 - Bati (8:44)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 04 - Demam (6:02)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 05 - Ethiopia (4:26)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 06 - Adona (4:37)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 07 - Bawetaw Baweridew (3:43)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 08 - Meroleyo (6:16)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 09 - Wahoye (5:04)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 10 - Atibelam Enguday (4:54)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 11 - Minjar (5:18)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 12 - Kenenisa (5:40)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 13 - Belay Zeleke (4:19)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 14 - Konjo (7:50)
Daniel Woldegabriel - 15 - Wedehuala Hedesh (3:06)
Thursday, April 28, 2016
R E U P L O A D
This project brings together an extraordinary but little known African musical heritage, a labour of love recording in a makeshift studio in down-town Addis Ababa and then a journey back to Real World to capture for the first time ever in the UK some of Ethiopia's finest performers.
This project is the vision of Dub Colossus - Dubulah - aka Nick Page. Composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer Nick started his music career with Michael Riley (Steel Pulse) and in 1990 formed Transglobal Underground with Tim and Hammi, produced-wrote-played six albums before leaving in 1997 to form Temple of Sound with Neil Sparkes.
Ethiopian music is the hidden gem of Africa. At the end of the Sixties and the early Seventies, Ethiopia was in the dying years of the imperial decline of Haile Selassie and the early years of a brutally repressive junta led by Mengistu. Within the confines of this stifling and constrictive environment there flowered some astonishing music. At times showing Fela Kuti's influences, in the big band sax flavour and other times a different take on regional music, this is a music that is accessible to all and has been championed by the likes of Robert Plant, Brian Eno and Elvis Costello. The style of contemporary Ethiopia music captured by Dub Colossus ranges from dreamy blues, hypnotic grooves, jazz piano and driving funk brass.
"A Town Called Addis" was inspired by meeting , writing and working with singers and musicians in Addis Ababa in August 2006, and is a collaboration between Dub Colossus (Nick Page) and these amazing musicians covering Azmari and traditional styles as well as the popular singing styles of the 60s and 70s. It seeks to combine the golden years of ethiopique beats (popular again thanks to the release of the critically acclaimed 'Ethiopique' compliation ) and ethiojazz with the dub reggae styles of early 70s reggae groups like the Abyssinians, Mighty Diamonds and so on. along with a hint of Sun Ra..." (Dub Colossus/aka Nick Page)
The first sessions took place in a breeze block hut under corrugated iron roof bombarded by the sounds of the rainy season high up on the mountain plateau where Addis is built. "...the sound of children playing, dogs barking and women washing all permeate the sessions and help the flavour of the record, albeit as ambient smoke.....Although a howling cat chasing a rat under the roof destroyed one vocal take completely...!"
We brought these unique urban field recordings home to Real World to complete the picture. In March 2008 we invited a group of outstanding performers from Addis to travel to the UK. Some of these artists are unknown talents who have never traveled outside of their country before now, while others such as singer Sintayehu 'Mimi' Zenebe (Addis Ababa night club owner and know as the Ethiopian Edith Piaf ) and master saxophonist Feleke Hailu (a classical composer, lecturer and head of music at the Yared Music School and part of a dynastic tradition that stretches back far beyond the classic hits his father arranged for Mahmoud Ahmad in the late 1960s) have a huge reputation. They are joined by Teremag Weretow who, with his plaintive voice, playing his messenqo ( one-string fiddle) is a youthful carrier of an ancient tradition; extraordinary pianist Samuel Yirga is an exciting new discovery - a young prodigy of classical and Ethiojazz and finally the glamourous star Tsedenia Gebremarkos, winner of a Kora award as the best female singer in East Africa in 2004,
From the most primitive recording context to one of the best in the world, this project is an audio journey - and discovery of one of the most alluring, funky and seductive genres of African music.
01. Dub Colossus - Azmari Dub (5:05)
02. Dub Colossus - Entoto Dub (5:55)
03. Dub Colossus - Tazeb Kush (5:52)
04. Dub Colossus - Shegye Shegitu (Blue Nile Mix) (3:54)
05. Dub Colossus - Shegye Shegitu (One Drop mix) (4:49)
06. Dub Colossus - Yeka Sub City Rockers (5:04)
07. Dub Colossus - Shem City Steppers (5:28)
08. Dub Colossus - Tizita Dub (7:38)
09. Dub Colossus - Black Rose (4:06)
10. Dub Colossus - Neh Yelginete (5:40)
11. Dub Colossus - Ophir Dub (4:40)
12. Dub Colossus - Sima Edy (4:40)
13. Dub Colossus - Mercato Music (5:47)
14. Dub Colossus - Ambassel (4:40)
15. Dub Colossus - Ambassel In Box (5:47)
Friday, October 16, 2015
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
All credit for samples used in this project goes to the respective artist or owner.
Released for home entertainment only.
NOT FOR SALE !!!!
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Big Shawn is musician from San Francisco, California, USA. He makes hip-hop/ rap/ instrumental music. Here is his extraordinary work from 2011 based on old ethiopian tunes and hits.
I realy love this stuff!
BIG SHAWN - 02 (3:26)
BIG SHAWN - 03 (3:36)
BIG SHAWN - 04 (4:03)
BIG SHAWN - 05 (3:51)
BIG SHAWN - 06 (3:11)
BIG SHAWN - 07 (4:15)
BIG SHAWN - 08 (3:41)
BIG SHAWN - 09 (3:38)
BIG SHAWN - 10 (3:48)
BIG SHAWN - 11 (3:50)
BIG SHAWN - 12 (3:33)
BIG SHAWN - 13 (3:42)
Thursday, April 30, 2015
v.a. -  - 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.
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 www.allmusic.com / itunes