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Golden Age Pop – from Ethiopia

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 01:22 PM

In the late 60s, something extraordinary happened in the Ethiopian capital: the fusion of James Brown funk, military brass bands, Arabic scales, and Hindi film music, with the lilting rhythms and mysterious melodies of traditional Ethiopian music.  It all fell apart after the coup in 1974 that dethroned Emperor Haile Selassie, but while it lasted, “Swinging Addis” experienced a brief Golden Age of Ethiopop.  I fell hard for this music in the mid-80s, when I came across an album by the Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed.  Now the Debo Band from Boston is issuing their self-titled album, which features two of Ahmed’s songs and a number of other examples of the Ethiopop sound (including one or two that seem to be original songs).

Ahmed was known as a master of the “eskeusta,” the rapid shaking of the shoulders and neck that showed that his listeners had entered into a kind of ecstatic, rapturous state.  The Debo Band is offering a free download of their cover of his “Asha Gedawo.”  Might wanna have the number of a chiropractor handy…



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Comments [4]

Abdella Ahmed from u s a

Ethiopia don't need music first bread,bread that is what is missing 85 million people Human misery some of you denying the catastrophes in the country cut the BULL S..KICK weyane out of this country

Jul. 12 2012 12:35 AM

Mahmoud Ahmed was in Dallas this weekend. He was phenomenal and he brought thousands of people to the floor to dance and sing. His enthusiasm and love of country is contagious. I particularly enjoyed his Guragina music, which I have not heard for a long time since leaving Ethiopia.

Jul. 11 2012 07:38 AM
meteka from Ethiopia

Ethiopia have too much music thanks using positive image of ethiopia l hope one day all of here problem solved become rich country GOD BELESS ETHIOPIAN and AFRICA!!!!!

Jul. 11 2012 05:09 AM
Fetene from Ethiopia

Nice to see brief news that helps to know what is going on in our world.

Jul. 11 2012 04:16 AM

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