Getting back to Ethiopia for a minute. Here are a few videos gleaned from youtube. “What the kids are doing,” as Diplo would say, these days in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Telecommunications has a monopoly on the cellular, fixed phone and internet market. The relatively common cybercafes a stocked with groups of computers all connected to a dial up connection. Excruciatingly slow! The one solution I found was to log in at the Sheraton Hotel for $20/hr. They have a 128 kbps connection. However, it is impossible to login to myspace from Ethiopia, which seems to account for the lack of Ethiopian (or for that matter Eritrean) presence on myspace. Thanks to the Ethiopian diaspora, we have some of this stuff available online.
The first one is my favorite. Tewodros (aka Tedy) and Abraham – gurageton. I heard about this track and searched and searched asking all the street vendors I saw if they had anything from Tedy. Everybody knew him, but nobody had any CDs. The only thing I found was a VCD compilation put out by AS Records. I’m loving the combination of styles in the dancing in this one. Sort of Rize goes to Addis and learns iskista. Or vice versa.
The next up is another one off track (at least at this point) by Mary Abebe called Ahun Naw. Again on a mutated reggaeton tip. I like the otherworldy keys. Super catchy hook too. I found this track on the same VCD that I found the Gurageton track on. Unfortunately, both of them come as video files. Although I managed to extract the video and create an MP3, the quality is pretty bad. So, I’m not posting the audio for these…..
Lastly, a video of Jonny Ragga’s track, “Abshewi.” Although there is a burgeoning reggae scene in Ethiopia (almost exclusively in Addis), there is very little released music available. Jonny Ragga is practically a house hold name there. His record, “Give me the key,” on Mango Records, can be found from most street vendors and record shops. Here’s an MP3 of “Give me the key,” the video clip of which can also be found on youtube. This is a 192kbps rip. Sorry for the digital hiccough at the beginning. The original CD has the same thing…..