Friday, November 30, 2007


Listen to ERE MELA MELA by Mahmoud Ahmed.

From Rastafari to Haile Sellassie, here is some wonderful music from East Africa. I had a hard time picking a track for today because (solely thanks to the quality of the Ethiopiques series) almost every song I own is a brilliant piece of work.

I settled on Ere Mela Mela by Mahmoud Ahmed because it is especially otherworldly and creepy sounding, up to the very moment you get used to the Amharic scale and phrasings, then you realize it's simply gorgeous, and why it was a pop hit in the early 1970s. Well, pop hit may be stretching it (or may be not, I have no idea!), but Mahmoud Ahmed was and "a true icon of East African music." Ahmed's voice is so hard to describe without hearing him, but John Dougan did well enough for me: "it's Ahmed voice: swirling high notes that sound as if they're chasing one another, impeccable tone and phrasing that is the distinguishing element."

I hope you like it & see you again in December!

Photo: Silver Towers (3).


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