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Boomkat Product Review:
Returning to the golden years of Ethiopian jazz, funk soul and pop via cherry-picked highlights from Addis Ababa’s legendary Amha Records
Reissued for the first time as part of necessary series, ‘Ethiopian Hit Parade Vol. 2’ compiles a bevy of impossible to find but must-have 7”s, spotlighting work by the scene’s pioneer Mulatu Astatke alongside the spellbinding vocals of Alemayehu Eshete and other peers from Amha Records, the bold label operating from Addis Abeba between 1969 to 1975 by Amha Estete, born 1943 and who passed away only earlier this year.
We’re always up for this sound - it’s like nowt else - and the hit parade lives up to its name with a roll call of aces, packing the slow and fast versions of Getachew Kassa’s ‘Tezeta’ and the super tight soul strut of Mulatu’s instrumental ‘Muayé’ plus a smoky, almost Gallic zinger from Menelik Wosseenachew, and the swaying trad folk piece ‘Feqer bèqumèna’ by Essatu T. and Seyfu Y.