Various Artists – Buda / Ethiopiques, Ethiopiques Volume 2: Tetchawet – Urban Azmaris Of The 90′s

Banning Eyre

By Banning Eyre

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Ethiopiques Volume 2: Tetchawet - Urban Azmaris Of The 90's

Various Artists - Buda / Ethiopiques

Traditional, hereditary musicians in Ethiopia are called azmaris, and when the smoke cleared after the 18-year Derg, it was these musicians in small bars called azmaribet who led the "nocturnal renaissance" in Addis. This early 90's volume samples the immediate post-Derg scene. Lyrics are central to this music's local appeal, but it's the sounds that seduce the outsider: the wild krar (lute) interplay, kebedo (drum) rhythms, and thrilling, high vocal of Mìsrak Mammao and Tchista Band, racing méssenqo (fiddle) accompaniment by Admassou Abatè, and the dramatically contrasting, old and young female voices in a bawdy selection by Zewditou Yohannès. Adanèh Tèka's long tribute to Bob Marley, among international celebrities, is a treat. Roots virtuosity graces the best of these 13 tracks, which together make up one of the most satisfying, non-pop volume in the Èthiopiques series.