Monday, April 23, 2012

Tesfay Mengesha | Love Songs Vol. 3

Listen to the third song on this CD

Listen to the 9th song on this CD

Get it all here.

I found this Eritrean CD at the Habesha Market & Carryout in Washington, DC, where I also found this mind-searing Ethiopian CD. I'm almost positive the language is Tigrinya, though I have no honest idea if that's really the case. I do love the album, whatever it is. It sounds like a mix between certain African music I might have heard in the 80s and maybe Algerian rai and--I swear--there are moments when it sounds almost Burmese, or at least vaguely south/southeast Asian (to me, anyway; listen, for instance, to that second sample above).

When I pointed to this album, the barista behind the register warned me that "This isn't Ethiopian--different language," and seemed at first as though she wasn't going to let me take a look at it. The happy stupid look on my face must have disarmed her as--as you can hear for yourself--I managed to bring it home with me.


DubMe said...

Thanks! Sounds like an interesting album... always like Ethiopian music - and very much interested in more recent Ethiopian music as well... Gonna hit the download now... Usually I want to listen to the album first, and then come back and leave a comment... but then you forget about it or whatever...
Best wishes from Chengdu/China; DubMe

Anonymous said...

I began listening to Ethiopian music after traveling to San Francisco in 1987, spending three weeks there and eating regularly at The Blue Nile. While eating Eritrean lasagna and spaghetti, as well as Ethiopian dishes, and drinking tej and Ethiopian coffee, I would listen to Theodros Mitiku's Hasabe and persuaded the restaurant owner to make me a bootleg copy for $5.00. After moving to Dallas in 1988, I frequented an Ethiopian grocery store and the owner sold me legitimate and bootleg Aster Aweke and other musicians' tapes. Like you, I, too, visited D.C. I made a pilgrimage to Adams Morgan to part with $150.00 in 1998 for, among other gems, Ejigeyehu "Gigi" Shibabaw's first tape. Each time I have bought Ethiopian music, I have encountered the same experience as you, the grocery store owners have been wonderfully helpful and friendly (after recovering from the initial shock of a non-Amharic-speaking American seeking to purchase Ethiopian and Eritrean music and being somewhat knowledgeable about many artists). They have also been willing to make great recommendations based on the artists I enjoy. The music has also been the path to several great conversations and friendships with Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants. The music is wonderful and for me, after having purchased more than two hundred tapes and compact discs in twenty four years, truly addictive. I now live near Washington D.C. and am learning Amharic so I can understand the lyrics!!! I thank you so much for posting the selections you have posted. It helps feed my passion!!!