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Boomkat Product Review:
Hardest, deepest Ethio jazz-funk-soul from a legendary figure and compatriot of Mulatu Astake, Mahmoud Ahmed, Hailu Mergia and Alemayehu Eshete.
Latest in a necessary unarchiving program initiated by Now-Again, ‘Tewedije Limut (Let Me Die Loved)’ dusts down seven further Ayalew Mesfin gems discovered on unreleased master tapes that now help plug a crucial blindspot in knowledge of Ethiopia’s incredible early ‘70s scene. Most sadly this rich seem of music would be curtailed by regime in the region not long after, but they mercifully left us with an inimitable sound that clearly endures half a century later due to its timeless soul-grabbing melodies and swingeing grooves that do not let go.
This account opens with a scorching take on the standard ‘Tewedije Limut (Let Me Die Loved)’, and arcs a spectrum of meson and Black Lion Band’s verve between the swaying soulful downstroke ‘Mot Aykerim (You Can’t Cheat Death)’, to the psychier strut of ‘Ayish Ayishina (I See And I See You)’, takign in its stride the horn section in full bloom on ’Shuferu (The Driver)’ and the incendiary ‘Libe Dil Temeta (My Heart Is Conquered)’, plus the kit-rattling ‘Gora Weshebaye (The Mountain Hero)’ with jaw-dropping vocals and horn blare tucked into that signature pentatonic Ethio shuffle groove, beside the looser beauty ‘Anchi Yefikir Taot (You Are Love)’. All dancefloor dynamite in the right situations.