Shook Magazine – Addis Ababa

Shook is a new magazine stepping on where Straight No Chaser stepped off headed up by Mr. Jez Smadja. They just released No. 1 Vol. 1. Here’s an article of my mine originally written for them grabbed off of their blog.

On his travels to Ethiopia, the cradle of civilisation, Maga Bo delivers the verdict on the latest styles emering from this ancient kingdom and sheds some light on the music industry as the country enters a new millennium. For the full article, check the latest issue of SHOOK. Here’s a little extra we couldn’t squueze in.



Lined by a zinc fence on one side and busy thoroughfare on the other, the electronic recycling and repair market in the Merkato area of Addis Ababa commands the entire sidewalk for 2 blocks. Freelance, self-taught electronics repairmen salvage all manner of appliances from telephones and flashlights to cassette and DVD players. Squatting down in front of a sea of chopped up circuit boards, wires, random electronic components, and gads of dissected radios and televisions, a man presses a radio to one ear in a feeble attempt to block out the noise all around and makes an adjustment with a screwdriver. Next to him, a shelf unit comprised of a stack of skeletons of television sets bursts with excess electronic pieces. He even sells jewelry – several necklaces with cassette capstan cogs as beads are on display. His neighbor deals exclusively in speakers – mix and match to taste. Another strictly deals with video equipment. Chat leaves are scattered all over the pavement and amongst the electronics. I am offered tea. A man says hello and shakes my hand. “This side very cheap, not like over there.” He motions to the row of electronic appliance stores which line the opposite side of the road extending in both directions. “Very good workers here.” And resourceful, too. Rummaging through the electronic component scrap heap, he finds what he’s looking for, quickly unscrews the back of the radio, jacks into the pirate electrical lead that the whole row of workers share with his soldering iron and proceeds to bring the radio back to life.