I have mentioned previously that Brian from Awesome Tapes From Africa was doing a couple of what I understand the young people call "sets" down the old Cafe Oto. Mister F and I duly went along last night. While our combined decrepitude meant we did not make it to the very end, some of the tracks Brian played were, well, awesome, and he managed to get the Dalston hipsters up and at least attempting to boogie.
His appearance also incentivised me to finally get around to listening to a few Ethiopian cassettes that I picked up in Addis about 15 months ago. They are pretty awesome themselves. Here is a track from each.
The first three are from the 1970s and/or 1980s. They were "reissued" by the Electra Music Shop, located - as it says on the back of the cassettes - in "Addis Ababa Infront of the Grand Mosque", and well worth a visit if you are in town. Apart from the name of the singer, I can tell you nothing about them as all the relevant details in the sleevenotes are in Amharic. If there is anyone out there who can translate for me, please get in touch and I will send some scans over. The Ephrem Tamiru track has become an instant favourite here at Chez Goggins. [UPDATE: We have a title for the Ephrem Tamiru track. With a degree of inevitability, His Awesomeness posted it a couple of years back]
The final offering, from Alex Olompia's "Diaspora" album, is of more recent vintage. It is dated 2002 but assuming they are using the Ethiopian calendar it is probably around 2009 in new money. The track listing on the sleeve does not seem entirely reliable, with the number of tracks listed as being on each side of the cassette not matching up to the number that are actually there. But I am fairly sure about this one.
"Side 1, Track 1" - Aregahegn Worash
"Anchi Lej" - Ephrem Tamiru
"Side 2, Track 4" - Muluqen Mellesse
"Zarema" - Alex Olompia
We finish with a couple of RIPs. The first is Eusebio, one of the greatest footballers who ever lived, and someone I was once lucky enough to see play when he guested for Cape Town City in 1978. The other is Phil Everly, one half of the best duo in the business. We'll miss them both.