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Tuesday 12 June 2018

Formerly Contemporary

A couple of months ago I spent 24 hours in Addis Ababa - it is a long story for a short visit - and did not have time to go scouring the markets for music. I thought I was going to leave empty-handed, but while I was at the airport on the way out I spotted a small, dusty selection of CDs on one of the sales counters. So I snapped one up.

I opted for a compilation called "The Sounds of Contemporary Ethiopian Music", mainly because it had some reasonably well-known artists on there - the likes of Alemayehu Eshete and Martha Ashagari. When I got it home it turned out not to be all that contemporary, having been released in 1999. I'm not sure whether it had been sitting there all that time, although that might explain the dust.

Anyway, it is a pretty good compilation and definitely worth buying in the perhaps unlikely event that you come across a copy. Until you do, here's a couple of tracks to keep you going.

"Yamral Tiletish" - Neway Debebe

"Be-Gudde Ewotana" - Theodros Tedesse

Meanwhile, in the UK in 1999, this was the second biggest selling single of the year. I think we have to give 1999 to Ethiopia.

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