Ali Mohammed Birra (born 1950), an Oromo nationalist, is probably the most renowned Oromo singer of all times. Mentioning his name people often reply ooouu, yes he is good. Being one of very few Oromos he managed to reach the highland scene of Addis Abeba. He released two albums and made many guest performances before Emperor Haile Selassie’s fall. Completly different from any other artists sound, he had a strong integrity, and was variable in styles. Read more about him on wiki.
This tune is different from the rest of the songs on this album, I immediately imagined an Asian soundtrack song, hearing it, it was still an Oromo love-song.
Ali Mohammed Birra (1969) - Yaboontuu
Halo Dawe. A well known singer from Dire Dawa, was a part of creating the sound of Oromo music in late 70s, maybe the first Oromo female to get a carrier. Still alive she has probably released around 10 albums. This tune has a mix of modern and traditional instruments. Being her forth album (1984) the entrance of keyboard was taking over the music production, with less expenses, the bands and musical interaction was disappearing from the beginning of the 80s.
Here is Yashola Leki. Enjoy!
Here is a second song from last weeks Umar Alii Faarah. Got many questions about him, have way to few answers, but thought he deserves to be shared in this Oromo week. Sit back and enjoy this intense repetitive track!
Decided that this week will be a week of only Oromo music. Of 80 different ethnical groups in Ethiopia, the biggest ethnical group is Oromo (about 35% of population), speaking Oromifa, a Kushtic language, with different dialects. Wiki
Umar Suleeyman is a modern hit amongst Oromos. With only bass, keyboard and vocals, this artist still manages to vary every song. The energy is present to its limits. Have not found any cd releases by this guy, but his cassette albums goes from No.1-12. After listening to 9 of them I’m still impressed. This is Umar of Ethiopia. Not Omar Souleyman of Syria witch by the way is amazing as well!
Just heard the new mix from Cut Chemist, B-side is full of Ethiopian samples, from Girma Beyene, Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed and more towards the end, sharing here a little less than half of the track 2, bad quality… Get it, this stuff is great!.
Some more info: http://somuchsilence.com/?p=3758
Ahmed Digfeer is one of many amazing Somali Artists. Somali music has seemed to be ignored, comparing it to neighboring contries. The country with decades of wars and different conflicts has in fact an impressive musical repertoire from the 60s and 70s. Maybe the fame of the Rap artist K’Naan will change some of that, using samples from Ethiopian and Somali music, the past is coming closer. Artists like Ahmed Mooge, Samatar, Khadra, Cabdi Tahliil and others that I still didn’t get to know, deserves more attention. Waiting for the perfect reissue… Now, enjoy Ahmed Digfeer - Hadagan Nimcooy!
This tune is one of many great tunes on this tape, have kind of fell in love with this sound. I think this is his first release, after this tape he started releasing more religious Muslim cassettes - Manzuma, witch are also great. This usage of Oud and Tamtam started first heavily in Ethiopia when the communist Mengistu H.Mariam came to power. The Oromo people took the style of the surrounding countries Somalia and Sudan, and made it their own. I wish I knew more Oromo language, this song is anyway called Ajaba Bontuu Oromo. Enjoy!
Alemayehu Eshete was a master of many styles, from swing & soul to tezeta & ambasel (ethiopian genres). His performances was said to be explosiv, and different from any other singers of the 60s 70s era. This resulted in he being nicknamed “the black Elvis” and “Africas James Brown”. Listening to his solo-releases Ethiopiques Vol.09 & 22 might make you understand why. He was my first favorite after getting to know the Ethiopiques series. Vol.09 is for sale in the shop.
This song is from his first cassette album. A ballad, accompanied with piano, sweet voice, sweet words. Enjoy!
I have finally started digitizing cassettes, there is so much amazing stuff of witch you can’t find otherwise. I do now manage to enjoy the format after more than 15 years of not listening to a single song. It’s of course sad that all this material doesn’t come in preferable quality, but it is something you might get used to again. After all it’s the music I’m looking for.
Lalibela Kinet was a group, a choir, the best musicians of the province Wollo, the origin of music styles like Anchi woye, Bati and Ambasel. They gave out three cassettes in the 80s (1975 on the cover is ethiopian calender), and one of them was featuring Maritu Legesse, the Queen of Bati. This is pure traditional music. Enjoy!
This song blew me into imagining the amazing orchestra era of Ethiopia. Dramatic and hypnotic, this wedding-song with the title ‘Kelemwa’, ‘Her color’, is one of my favorites. Osman Sayem aka. EthioJazz in blogsphere has written some stuff on her at Bernos, check it out http://www.bernos.org/blog/2007/04/03/oldies-but-goddies-iii/ Enjoy!