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Showing posts with label ethiopian popular music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ethiopian popular music. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Helen Berhe - Tasfelgegnaleh [2010] [ethiopia]




   UPLOAD ON DEMAND   










         Widely Helen Berhe is best known with her single clip Uzaza Allina. As this single clip is a Sudanese (Arabic) beat, the Addis born Ethiopian Helen Berhe is usually believed to be a Sudanese singer.






Helen Berhe - Uzaza Alena




                Recently, with the Ethiopian New Year, Helen Berhe staged out with her new album, known as “Tasfelegnaleh!” (I need you!). In relation with her album, the widely circulated Amharic weakly, “Addis Admass” has conducted a brief interview with her. Here is presented the translation of the interview.

      While others could not achieve wide acceptance and acknowledgement with their consecutive albums, Helen simply proved to be the best, with “Uzaza Allina” that usually viewed via television channels, YouTube and promoted her in a brief moment. The clip “Uzaza Allina” composed both in Arabic and Amharic replaced her natural and legal name Helen Berhe. 

               This young vocalist now came to the stage with her new album “Tasfelegnaleh”, after a three years tiresome preparation. This new album was released with the Ethiopian New Year. Addis Admass had conducted a brief interview with the emerging star on this new album and other related issues.











A.A: While you were a student many people say you were daily in Hager Fiker Theater? Is that true?

Helen: True. Since my childhood I had a special affection to music and dancing. I attend my high school at Menen School. While going and coming to school I visited Hager Fiker and enjoyed the music of the vocalists while they train. Their work got dominance on my soul and sometimes ignored my classes and went to Hager Fiker. One day I revealed my interest and asked the performance trainer to allow me to sing. He gave me the chance and listened my vocal and I song. “Your sound should be tamed” he told me later. He understood that my interest was high and allowed me to observe while the professionals sing and dance. This was a big opportunity to me. I followed my observation happily. 

I spend my schooling time in Hager Fiker, with out the knowledge of my family. Finally at the eve of a new year I was allowed to perform at the stage of Hager Fiker as a dancer.

A.A: Does that mean the Theater house recruited you?

Helen: No, I was not paid. But that was nothing to me. What was important to me was to be seen at the stage of Hager Fiker. Thus usually I continued to train at Hager Fiker. In the meantime some people from aboard came and asked to take me abroad. Even if they were told that I am still an amateur, they insisted and took me to Bahrain. 

A.A: How old were you then? Did your family agreed?

Helen: I was 18. I didn’t complete my high school. I took matriculation after I came back. My family didn’t know what really was happening and could not believe when I informed them that I am leaving to Bahrain. I was determined to leave, however, and could not deter me from leaving and with sorrow let me to go.

A.A: When does that happen? For how long did you stay at Hager Fiker? 

Helen: I went to Bahrain in 2002; I stayed at Hager Fiker not for more than 3 months. 

A.A: What happened in Bahrain, what was the reaction of your audience?

Helen: I staged in a Hotel known as Seychelles. Seychelles and Awol are two famous Hotels managed by a single owner. At a shift of every half month, I was staging in both hotels. There the vocalist and dancer is a single person. While you sing you dance. In their culture presents given to the performer are bunches of flowers. The spectator comes with a bundle of flowers and presents to the performer whom he admires. Finally these bundles of flowers will be collected and sold. We share the income of the sale equally with owner of the hotel. This is an extra income, on top of our salary. Really it was a good income. In their culture giving money to a performer is a taboo. And every spectator comes with bundles of flowers. 






Helen Berhe - Yene Geta





A.A: How much was your salary?

Helen: My salary was 500 USD per month.

A.A: the amateur Helen at Hager Fiker, became professional at Bahrain?

Helen: When I left to Bahrain I was neither a performer nor a vocalist. I had the love and affection, but not actually the desired experience. There in Bahrain, my compatriots like Abnet Agonafir, Minalush Reta and Ismael Idris shaped me to follow the right direction. 

A.A: For how long did you stay in Bahrain? How did you challenge home and family sickness?

Helen: I stayed in Bahrain for 2 years. It was a difficult time. Thought I got the material gains I was not free and left to Dubai.

AA: while you came out to the public with Uzaza Allina did you get the consent of the singer?

Helen: Yes, In Dubai I performed at Palm Hotel. The singer of Uzaza Allina, Nada, came to the hotel while I was performing. I was singing a Sudanese music. After the show she asked me if I am willing to join her at her concert. She had a concert at Sheraton Gera in Dubai. And we discusses over it. On that concert she played Uzaza Allina. I liked it very much. I asked her consent to perform it in Amharic and she was more than willing. I came back to Addis and discussed over it with Amharic lyrics and poem artists. Eyobel Berhanu and Zelalem Terefe wrote the lyrics, poem and the basic lyrics. Wondimeneh Assefa composed it and reached the public.

A.A: Did you expect such an applaud.

Helen: I did not expect such an applaud. Tigist Woyisso came to Dubai and inquired me why I sit ideal while I have such a clip. She came with clip to Addis and handed it to ETV. The clip was arranged in haste while I was busy to go to Dubai and I did not expect such massive applaud. However, I was amazed with the public reaction.

A.A: How much did you benefit from the clip?

Helen: I got a priceless name and fame. The name of the clip /song/ has already replaced my legal and natural name. It helped me as a spring board to jump to the future. It reminded me to be courageous and visional. On top of that, I have got a financial benefit that could be achieved from a single clip. It helped me to perform in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. 










A.A: I heard you are coming up with a new album known “Tasfelegnaleh”. How much are you convinced with the quality of your work?

Helen: As I have told you earlier, I have got a wide applaud from my audiences. This indicates that my audiences expect something better than Uzaza allina. Therefore I have tried to work hard and to come with my best performance.

I have assigned all my time, money, talent and experience to this work. I brushed aside all things and concentrated on this. I am coming to my audience not only with my single talent but the talents and skills of Habtamu Bogale, Eyobel Berhanu, Zelalem Terefe, Tamrat Desta, Abel Mulugeta, Asnake Gebreyes, Alemayehu Demeke, Getish Mamo have accompanied me. Additionally, the best known composer Abegaz kibrework (Shewota) has composed my six beats. On top of that, for the first time in his career he arranged me one lyric. The rest 8 beats are composed by Wondimeneh Assefa who composed Uzaza Allina. Therefore, I think this work will be one of the best. 

A.A: Do you have clips.

Helen: From this album one music is arranged in a clip. The clip known as “Libe”, is directed by Sintayehu Sisay. It is a well arranged clip filmed in Addis Ababa, Ziway and Langano beach.

A.A: Now what do you feel? 

Helen: You see, for me now it is challenging. The work that consumed my time, money and talent with years of preparation is a big deal in my life. My excitement begins when I get the reaction of my audience.

Finally I want to thank to all my friends who granted me their all rounded assistance in all forms. My great gratitude goes to Migbar Mekete to his unlimited support.





Helen Berhe - 01 - Tasfelgegnaleh (4:42)
Helen Berhe - 02 - L'bbe (4:20)
Helen Berhe - 03 - Yene F'kr (5:00)
Helen Berhe - 04 - Zena Zena (5:34)
Helen Berhe - 05 - S'mh Aydellem (3:49)
Helen Berhe - 06 - Semay (5:33)
Helen Berhe - 07 - N'geregn (6:32)
Helen Berhe - 08 - L'hid (5:28)
Helen Berhe - 09 - Title 2 (5:07)
Helen Berhe - 10 - Kedugnam (4:48)
Helen Berhe - 11 - Athun Yelela (6:08)
Helen Berhe - 12 - B'semahakta (5:01)
Helen Berhe - 13 - Attasferaragn (4:24)






Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu of Ethiopia [1972] [FLAC]




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        Mulatu Astatke might be most known to international audiences through his tracks on the excellent Ethiopiques CD anthology series of Ethiopian music. Long before those tracks were compiled for that series, however, he had an American release with this 1972 instrumental album, on which he's billed as "Mulatu of Ethiopia." 











       Like much of the best of the circa-early-'70s contemporary Ethiopian music on Ethiopiques, it's a fine, at times captivating blend of late-'60s American soul and jazz with Ethiopian music, resulting in something not quite comparable to anything else. 









     It is undeniably funky, with wah-wah guitar and organ aplenty. There's plenty of contemporary jazz in the arrangements, too, the sax runs sometimes showing the influence of the likes of John Coltrane. Yet there's a melancholy minor cast to the melodies that marks this off as something quite different, and the rhythms likewise have irregularities that are more African than American. The only major strike against the LP is its short running time, with the seven tracks adding up to a mere 26-and-a-half minutes or so.







get it in FLAC !!!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Dereje Mekonnen - Dereje Mekonen With Shebele Band [ethiopia]










                  Dereje Mekonnen began his career in the early 1980s as a keyboardist in the Ibex band, who accompanied the R&B singer Mahmoud Ahmed on three albums. He then founded the formation Dallol, a reggae band with whom he played in Chicago and accompanied Ziggy Marley on his albums Conscious Party (1988) and One Bright Day (1989), which were awarded the Grammy. 

              After numerous tours with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, he founded the band Gizzae in 1991, with whom he performed primarily in Chicago and the Midwest of the USA. He also worked with Ethiopian musicians such as Tilahun Gessesse and Ephrem Tamiru. He also produced the first album of Ejigayehu Shibabaw, One Ethiopia (1998). 

                     Dereje Mekonnen died at the age of 49.







Dereje DJ Makonnen - Alemen Zorialehu [ደረጄ መኮንን አለምን ዞሪያለሁ]





Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 01 - Etitu Beredegn (6:13)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 02 - Yagere Lidje (6:34)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 03 - Selewebetu Sadenk (5:02)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 04 - Atawerulegn Lela (4:33)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 05 - Laley Laley (Tegregna (6:14)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 06 - Temar Lidje (5:49)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 07 -Emu Eadigere (Guragegna) (4:23)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 08 - Besebara Fole (6:23)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 09 - Shilela (3:52)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 10 - Hagerua Wasa Megera (4:43)
Dereje Mekonen with Shebele Band - 11 - Yaleselesea (Oromegna) (4:27)




Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Teodros Makonnen (with Mulatu Astatke) - Memories [2000] [ethiopia]















Teddy Mak - Wetatuan Lij




Teodros Makonnen - 01 - Japanwan Wedije (6:54)
Teodros Makonnen - 02 - Ere Min Yishalegneal (4:54)
Teodros Makonnen - 03 - Senibet (3:26)
Teodros Makonnen - 04 - Setihed Siketelat (3:04)
Teodros Makonnen - 05 - Temari Negne (3:45)
Teodros Makonnen - 06 - Ene Yalanchi Alnorem (4:11)
Teodros Makonnen - 07 - Anisiyada (4:49)
Teodros Makonnen - 08 - Tiz Alegne Yetintu (4:01)
Teodros Makonnen - 09 - Ououta Ayaskefam (2:37)
Teodros Makonnen - 10 - Alchalkum (3:42)
Teodros Makonnen - 11 - Ewedish Nebere (3:47)
Teodros Makonnen - 12 - Kifu Ayunkash (4:52)
Teodros Makonnen - 13 - Meleyayet Motnew (6:54)
Teodros Makonnen - 14 - Jazz (4:05)



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mahmoud Ahmed - Yitbarek [2003] [ethiopia]





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01. Mahmoud Ahmed - Yitbarek (3:48)
02. Mahmoud Ahmed - Almaz (20:34)
03. Mahmoud Ahmed - Fitsum Dink Lij Nesh (5:52)
04. Mahmoud Ahmed - Tseguruna Werdo Werdo (4:44)
05. Mahmoud Ahmed - Kulum (11:03)
06. Mahmoud Ahmed - Lale Lale (5:25)
07. Mahmoud Ahmed - Asheweyna (5:51)
08. Mahmoud Ahmed - Mushiraye (6:54)
09. Mahmoud Ahmed - Hay Loya (3:24)



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Aster Aweke - Kabu [1989] [ethiopia]





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       This Ethiopian beauty's Aster and Kabu albums show why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.”





                                                     

Aster Aweke - Tchewata






        There’s no mistaking Aster Aweke’s primary influences. Listen, for example, to her early ’90s albums Aster and Kabu, with their Memphis-style horn section, soulful keyboards and crackling drums, and it’s immediately apparent why she’s sometimes been dubbed the “African Aretha Franklin.” Lady Soul, along with the Godfather, James Brown, and vocally versatile jazz singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, loom largely in her roots, her deep R&B/funk groove a reminder that bridges are meant to be crossed. Aweke doesn’t leave the traditional behind by any means; she respects it, she draws from it, but she’s never beholden to it.


       And then there’s that voice, as supple and mystifying an instrument as has ever been. Simultaneously tamed and wild, its flights of fancy are wondrous things. You can’t help but be awed.

      Aweke was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, some time between the late ’50s and 1961, depending on which account you believe. She grew up in the capital city of Addis Ababa and began singing as a teen, working with several groups, most notably the Roha Band. As Ethiopia entered a period of unrest following the death of iconic leader Haile Selassie, Aweke left for the United States. She became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian community in the States, performing in restaurants and clubs, particularly in her adopted home of Washington, D.C., one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country.












    Aweke signed to the small Triple Earth label in 1989, and the two aforementioned albums were then picked up by Columbia Records, which had high hopes for her commercial potential in the West. The sales didn’t pan out but Aweke has continued to record and tour—her 1995 Live In London CD is an excellent primer that displays her charismatic appeal to the fullest.




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tommy T - The Prester John Sessions [2009] [usa+eth]






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       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)



Aster Aweke - Ebo [1993] [ethiopia]





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Aster Aweke - Ebo










1. Aster Aweke - Minu Tenekana (6:04)
2. Aster Aweke - Ebo (8:02)
3. Aster Aweke - Yale Sime (7:04)
4. Aster Aweke - Yene Konjo (6:53)
5. Aster Aweke - Bale Garie (6:34)
6. Aster Aweke - Esti Lnurbet (6:43)
7. Aster Aweke - Yewah Libane (8:13)
8. Aster Aweke - Ashe Weyina (6:07)




Gete Aneley - Chebel Lebe [2004] [ethiopia]




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1. Gete Aneley - Ayenama (9:08)
2. Gete Aneley - Ambassel (6:03)
3. Gete Aneley - Yemnejar Leje (7:53)
4. Gete Aneley - Megalo Wello (6:27)
5. Gete Aneley - Agerre Gonder (7:57)
6. Gete Aneley - Derbabey (6:11)
7. Gete Aneley - Chebel Lebe (5:02)
8. Gete Aneley - Aya Belew (5:45)
9. Gete Aneley - Hole (5:19)