This one-of-a-kind project connects the real-life fireworks of old and new, urban Ethiopian music with the Rastafarian mythology that has long linked this country to reggae via the late Emperor Haile Selassie, whom Rastas deify.
The album is the work of Dubuluh (Nick Page) and a host of Ethiopian and English artists. It's an intriguing, somewhat surprising collection of tunes. Often times dub projects can be anchored in a recurrent groove, but Page has created a group of tracks that are quite distinctive. "Neh Yelginete (My First Love)," for instance, is a beautifully layered tune that invokes the Ethiojazz vibe. "Ophir Dub" has a retro feel, bringing to mind the dub reggae of Abyssinians. "Shegye Shegitu (Blue Nile Mix)" is a dark, bluesy number produced in fairly minimalist fashion. The song "Yeka Sub City Rockers" conjures the spirit of Augustus Pablo and blends it with an ambient dub sensibility. The opening track on the disc, "Azmari Dub," is Ethiopique roots reggae featuring vocalist Sintayehu Zenebe and the sturdy punch of the Horns of Negus.