Awesome Tapes From Africa is back with yet another excellent reissue from the legendary Ethiopian keyboardist Hailu Mergia. While he’s primarily spent the last couple of decades driving taxis around Washington DC, Mergia and the Walias Band were once pioneers at the forefront of Addis Ababa’s musical revolution in the 1970s. Their polyrhythmic jazz-funk fusion combined with Mergia’s adoption of the Moog synthesizer inspired dozens of other acts in Africa, and their ‘77 album Tche Belew is widely considered to be a seminal work of that era. Unfortunately, their 1975 release Tezeta has been largely unheard of due to its scarce distribution within Ethiopia. But now, thanks to mastering and restoration engineer Jessica Thompson, you too can enjoy the smooth, funky instrumentals of tracks like “Tezeta,” “Nefa New Zemdie,” and “Ou-Ou-Ta.”
- rare 1975 Ethio synth jazz cassette on vinyl for the first time
- black vinyl pressing
- previously only available on cassette in Ethiopia
- includes printed liner note insert
- music label: Awesome Tapes From Africa 2021
reviewed by SHH! 06/2021
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