Since you’ve found your way to this blog post, we probably don’t need to tell you how fantastic the music of Ethiopia is. What often gets less attention, however, is just how diverse it is. Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa, with some 80 different ethnic groups bringing their music styles to the table, so no one expects you to know every single one. But still–we’re on the cusp of Volume 30 in the Éthiopiques series. You would think that we’d have a handle on things, at least in terms of older music, anyway. And then something comes along to blow your mind all over again.
Here’s a mix of music from 1961 to 1980, put together for Norway’s Radio Nova, to remind us all of just how little we know. There are studio releases and field recordings of pop music, traditional music, religious music, government bands—singing priests, flutes, and even crunchy electric guitars that banter with full-on horn sections. It’s all that, and the whole thing is just an hour long. Oh, and it’s also fantastic.
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