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15 Reviews
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universally adored, listen & find out why for yourself
There is undoubtedly a buzz around Ethiopian music at the moment: Jim Jarmusch was determined to make it a key component of Broken Flowers and Gilles Peterson has been championing it on Radio 1. And it seems to have garnered a rather star-studded following: Damon Albarn, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Tom Waits and Brian Eno amongst them.

However, it's the...
Published on 6 Sep 2007 by J. Anderson-Hanney

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the very best of ethiopiques
The ethiopiques compilations contain some of the most exciting and spine tingling music that I have heard in recent years. I was priveleged to see the tour starring mahmoud ahmed, alemayehu eshete and getatchew mekurya at the barbican last year. I would travel a long distance to see them perform again - there was a real sense of being in the presence of legends, but...
Published on 2 April 2010 by Chris Glenn


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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universally adored, listen & find out why for yourself, 6 Sep 2007
By 
J. Anderson-Hanney (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
There is undoubtedly a buzz around Ethiopian music at the moment: Jim Jarmusch was determined to make it a key component of Broken Flowers and Gilles Peterson has been championing it on Radio 1. And it seems to have garnered a rather star-studded following: Damon Albarn, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Tom Waits and Brian Eno amongst them.

However, it's the reaction from my circle of friends that convinced me this music really has something: everyone loves it- from the heads to the most conservative of tastes, they all dig it. There are few albums I can play at a party that get respect from the music savvy without getting groans from the uninitiated (and vice-versa).

There's a great web site where I first heard the music, you can also watch clips, read reviews, discuss the music etc there. Don't think I'm allowed to include web addresses but do a search on 'The Very Best of Ethiopiques' and you'll find it. Enjoy!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethio picks, 2 Nov 2007
By 
D. M. Binns "dbinns5" (nottingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
I haven't got this CD but I do have the first 17 volumes of the series that it is the 'best of', so be warned, it is seriously addictive music. I absolutely love the series. The other reviewers have described the music so I won't bother. It covers such a range of styles that it's hard to do so anyway.

There are a lot of CDs in the series but if you like this and want to know which others to get I recommend volumes 1&3 as good compilations, volume 4 (instrumentals), 6&7 (Mahmoud Ahmed) and 14 (Getatchew Mekurya - sax player). But they're all good. Also, check out the Zanzibara series on the same label. All these CDs can be bought for about £5/£6 each from other sellers overseas, via amazon, such as Caiman.

P Dowding (below) is obviously an imbecile and should stick to Busted.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last - love this stuff, 2 Aug 2007
This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
Saw a postcard for this release at Womad last weekend. If you've never heard it it's really incredible. Hard to describe - jazzy, funky, dreamy -not like anything else you've ever heard. There's something like 25 releases on the original series - far too many to know which to buy. Looks like this best of has got a bit of everything on it though so great place to start. Do yourself a favour and discover as the sticker on the front from Elvis Costello says
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove, 19 Feb 2008
By 
Mr. M. L. Hawes "Mitchmusic" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
A first for me, in world music terms and a very lovely surprise. Combining funk, African and Middle Eastern sounds makes for some really adventurous listening, quite how one reviewer gave it one star is beyond me, but each to their own.

If you're a musical adventurer like me, then delve into the riches of Ethiopiques, you will not be disappinted.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and uplifting music that deserves a wide audience., 4 July 2008
By 
Moontrane - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
The 28 tracks on this wonderful double CD are drawn from a series of 23 Ethiopiques albums put together by the inspirational French promoter and champion of Ethiopian music Francis Falceto. This haunting, uplifting music which is an intriguing mixture of jazz, soul, funk & folk was created and recorded in Addis Ababa during the final years of Emperor Haile Selassie's reign(1930-74).
'The Very Best of Ethiopiques' has been described as "doing for Ethiopia what the Buena Vista Social Club did for Cuba" and this marvellous music certainly deserves to reach the widest possible audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic gateway into Ethiopian music, 14 April 2008
By 
David Johnson "El Burrito" (Buenos Aires) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
Any best of from the titanic Ethiopiques series was going to make for interesting listening.
This double CD package really comes up trumps, giving you a fine sample of the artists featured throughout.
Disc One is Jazzier in it's feel. We have the slow meandering Heywete before we dive into the painfully cool Yerkermo Sew. It is Mulatu Astatque's music that has brought Ethiopian music to a wider audience. Hardly surprising. Taken from his experiences of living in America, the grooves of his tracks are funky, infectious. Yekatit is probably my favourite one from him - rolling beat, the coolest slice of funk.
Getatchew Mekurya's music is far last westernized, more organic - the saxophones lead to towards Egypt. I love Shellela on the second disc.
The other artist whose music deserves a definite mention is soul singer Mahmoud Ahmed, several fine tracks on here including the beautifully languid Fetsum Denq Ledj Nesh.
I would say that this best of CD is ideal for those just dipping into the music. An excellent gateway into the rest of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All hail Ethiopiques! Hot and spicy., 26 Sep 2008
By 
C. Whitworth "juliehill87" (Nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
Hey pop pickers! Do you despair at the state of British indie music? Need that itch seriously scratching? Man,this is one wild and groovy ride. Weird and wonderful and very much deserving the attention of any curious and open minded music fan.I ain't no world music fan ,but the currently very stale indie scene forces one to search further afield to satisfy ones needs. If you like this, watch the film: Broken flowers (Bill Murray). Alot of this music soundtracks that film brilliantly. Also try Tinariwen (for seriously cool desert blues)or Kasai allstars.
We have people like Damon Albarn to thank for drawing our attention to such brilliant music. Nice one.Fair play to bands like Vampire weekend and The Good,the bad and the queen for mixing it up with sound results (no pun intended).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HIPSTER DECLARES “CDs ARE THE NEW VINYL”, 10 Feb 2014
This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
(Columbus, Ohio) – Citing the lack of decent second-hand product and a higher retail profile, area coffee shop employee Claude Barnet has declared the “era of the vinyl revival” over.

“With of all these Johnny-Come-Lately overfishing,” Barnet explained, “there’s nothing worth having at any of my Thrift Stores or Flea Markets.”

“I mean, I can only look at so many Kenny friggin’ Rogers records,” he added bitterly.

Barnet also blamed the internet for allowing people to research their Lp collections and sell them at inflated prices. “I had hoped that there would be a ‘race to the bottom’,” the bearded barista recalled. “You know, with a huge stock, prices would be forced down as everyone competed for sales.” But it hasn’t panned out that way and Barnet claims record sellers are charging “like ten bucks for a crappy, used No One’s Gonna Change Our World budget line re-issue. It’s a joke.”

When you add to that new and re-issued vinyl’s increasing market share, the hipster is being squeezed out. ”And, of course, now big High Street retailers like HMV have gotten in on the act and started selling vinyl again,” complained Barnet. “I mean, Christ, you can buy Kylie Lps and ABBA re-issues these days!”

The good news is that now everyone’s getting rid of their compact discs. ”I’ve bought loads lately,” he enthused. ”Including a sweet two-disc Éthiopiques comp and a deluxe Trouble Man soundtrack CD that I’d never have gotten on stupid old vinyl.”

Barnet also praised CDs’ digital clarity (“none of that awful, distracting crackle”), convenience, ability to hold a considerable number of songs, bonus tracks as well as their informative booklets and scholarship.

“Yep, CDs are definitely the way of the future,” Barnet said thoughtfully, adding, “At least until the cassette thing takes off.”

[...]
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music you can eat, 30 April 2008
By 
T. Preston "Francophile" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
I felt I had to review this release if only to address the balance of a spectacularly ignorant reviewer who gave it one star.

What (s)he fails to grasp is that the influence of funk and jazz etc on these tracks is not a sign of Africans trying to copy American styles from yesteryear, but that popular musics around the world influence each other (see Vampire Weekend for a modern example), and compilations like this serve to bring music to a wider audience that would otherwise be ignored. And about time too!

The influence of jazz and funk on popular music can be seen all over Africa. This is hardly surprising when you think that the original influences for these genres can be traced back to 'traditional' African music. But the point is, everywhere does it differently, and the blend of musical influences heard on these cds are truly mesmerising, including modal scales and liturgical music from the Orthadox Ethiopian church.

What surprised me, though, is the wide apeal of the cds. My flatmates got used to me putting on random cds but when I played this, they all loved it - comments from 'ideal at a dinner party' to 'great to make love to'. So there you have it - something for everyone!

All in all, a great advert for Ethiopian music and a great compilation of tracks that show just how rich this music was, and still is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, 26 May 2009
By 
Martyn - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
Just a supporting post for the other reviews. I've heard a lot of music in my time and almost to the last track the material on here is absolutely phenomenal. Artists such as Mahmoud Ahmed simply have to be heard to be believed and in general, outside of Sun Ra's wildest moments I've never heard music that sounded so much like it was made on Mars. Fantastic!
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