The golden age of Ethiopian popular music (as heard on the fabled ETHIOPIQUES series) is famous in part for the sparsity of material that it yielded: The state-owned recording industry was largely a ramshackle government vanity, and while music of the music it captured was strikingly haunting, only a few dozen tracks were recorded in the 1960s and '70s...
Neway Debebe - Yetikimt Abeba
Since then, the floodgates have opened as Ethiopia has more or less entered the modern world -- more artists are making and recording more music than was dreamed possible back in the politically repressive "good old days," and the fruits of this renaissance are heard on this 6-CD set.
Each of these discs is also sold separately, and each centers on a general theme -- one for ballads, one of traditional music (which is quite nice), a disc's worth of contemporary dance music and one of "chic-chic-ka" rhythm, a popular modern style. There are also two discs worth of instrumental music -- one featuring recent recordings of more traditional themes is quite nice, while the other has a contemporary feel and is closer to modern "smooth jazz."
The tracks are from the late 1990s and early '00s -- the artists are generally younger, more modern musicians, although a few old-timers like Mahmoud Ahmed are still alive and kicking, and sound as cool as ever. Although this collection doesn't have the same eerie power as the '70s-era recordings, anyone who got into the ETHIOPIQUES discs will want to check this out as well, to see where the music has gone since then.
01 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Anchi Bale Gamme (6:43)
02 - Muluken Mellesse - Nanu Nanu Ney (6:28)
03 - Hamelmal Abate - Awdamet (6:10)
04 - Theodros Tadesse - Albo (5:41)
05 - Neway Debebe - Yetikimt Abeba (5:13)
06 - Theodros Kassahun - Lebo (5:44)
07 - Hana Shenkute - Hode Ba-Le-Abisho (5:49)
08 - Dawit Mellesse - Ayisemashim (4:57)
09 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Derra & Ye-Selalewa (7:01)
10 - Tehsome Wolde - Litishegnegn New Fikire (4:31)
11 - Martha Ashagari - Gamme Gamme (5:01)
12 - Abinet Agonafir - Lene Kalesh (6:31)
13 - Hirut Girma - Wusheten (5:22)