Sheba Sound/Ethiopian Soul Cassette Mix Direct out of Addis

Sheba Sound, direct out of Ethiopia, delivers an exclusive hour-long Ethio-funk mix of cassette releases from the 70s and 80s.
None of the songs on this mix to our knowledge were ever pressed up on a record, or re-issued on CD. They are all original sounds dug up from old cassette shops from around Ethiopia.

Sheba Sound: Deep Ethiopian Soul Cassette Selection by Sofrito on Mixcloud

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For London-based people don’t miss the “Out of Addis” Sheba Sound launch party at the Total refreshment Centre on Saturday 16th May – Jonathan will be joined by the one and only DrumTalk, reggae maestro Nick Manasseh (Roots Garden) and Chris Menist (Paradise Bangkok), definitely one not to be missed.

“For new music, contemporary musicians outside Addis Ababa have little opportunity to record and proudly express their unique mesmerising sounds. ??We at Sheba Sound are trying to re-address this balance. We are as committed to recording and introducing diverse music to Ethiopians themselves as well as to foreign communities. ??We have our work cut out; there are over 85 separately recognised tribes, all of whom define themselves through their unique language, music, customs, values and clothing. ??We bring traditional deep Ethiopian sounds, with a modern twist, to dance-floors and bars all over the world.

Background info:

In 1974 Mengistu crushed Haile Selassie and came into power in Ethiopia. By the late 70’s, all the music labels pressing up tunes on vinyl, such as Amha and Philips, had been forced to shut down their operations.
This left the cassette shops to continue the work of publishing the new music that was coming out of Ethiopia. Notable heavyweight houses pushing Amharic music, such as Electra and Anbassel took the lion’s share of the famous vocalists.
Naturally, as time evolved, so did the sound of music. In this mix, you will hear how the classic 70’s ‘ethio-funk’ sound (represented in the Ethiopiques collections through Buda Musique) digresses to the 80’s into something much less frantic and more precise. The bands themselves tend to be smaller, allowing the bass players to take a more driving lead. This particular evolution of the bass, for us, defines the sound of Amhara music from this period.

Atechekenbegnem – Ayalew Mesfin
Tezez Begalaye – Muluken Melesse
Ancbi Lij – Thiedros Tadesse
Tey Enekebaber – Kefel Bekele
Munaye – Ephrem Tamru
Tatche Alkarem – Neway Debebe
Tey Manesh – Solomon Shibeshi
? – Fisseha Alamayehu
? – Fisseha Alamayehu
Yangete Sew Honesh – Tamrat Molla
Kemekem – Muluken Melesse


Sheba Sound have more mixes available on their site, and don’t forget to check his & Fade 2’s stellar mix of off-kilter 90s dancehall versions here.

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