Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the very best of ethiopiques, 2 April 2010
This review is from: Ethiopiques - the Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves from the Legendary Series (Audio CD)
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 legends who were still alive and jumping and in the moment. The flaw in this compilation is that it emphasises the laid back trip hop, rare groove, more Westernised parts of the series rather than the incantatory scorching horn-driven vocals that show the true originality of the genre. I would go along with the recommendations of D.M. Binns (and add Volume 9 by alemayehu eshete). Go straight there and you are much more likely to understand the buzz and addictive nature of the ethiopiques. I even suspect that some who have heard about the buzz will, not unnaturally, have bought the very best of and wondered what all the fuss is about. To illustrate the point - Volume 1 is represented on this compilation by two interesting enough dreamy instrumentals and one booting vocal performance. However on the original Volume 1 compilation the three instrumentals are clearly intended to break the mood of the other 14 generally highly energetic, often psychedelic, vocal performances. On the volumes that I own, the number of essential tracks is much higher than on most CDs. So on Volume 1 the first eight vocal tracks are of really high quality; on Volume 9, the first 11 tracks are all winners. It is really disapointing that the same cannot be said of this compilation - definitely not the very best of. I would recommend that to catch an initial flavour of some of the best of ethiopiques listeners go to youtube and watch the performances at WOMAD. There are also some classic vintage performances of some of the stars from Ethiopian TV and elsewhere. You will then be hooked!
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Location: london

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