Disc 2: The Ethiopian Millennium Collection - Ballads
Relax and enjoy these sometimes melancholy, often nostalgic but always soothing ballads.
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...
Muluken Mellesse - Minew Kerefede
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 - Tizita (11:08)
02 - Theodros Tadese - Zimita (6:27)
03 - Hamelmal Abate - Djimire (6:41)
04 - Alemayehu Eshete - Kehak Atsewirugn (5:22)
05 - Dawit Melllesse - Firejign (6:16)
06 - Rahel Yohannes - Tizita (6:11)
07 - Theodros Kassahun - Kezebiye (5:53)
08 - Hirut Girma - Nefs Neh (5:54)
09 - Muluken Mellesse - Minew Kerefede (8:22)
10 - Hana Shenkute - Tefagn Bilihatu (5:41)
11 - Mahmoud Ahmed - Teyikesh (6:34)