Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hirut Bekele again

Hirut Bekele
12" x 12"
oil on luan, 2013
One of my favorite "world" music albums I discovered in 2012 was this cassette by Hirut Bekele that I found on the blog Awesome Tapes from Africa. The cassette (notes are all in Ge'ez, or Ethiopic script) has two tracks in the Top 100, making Bekele one of only a handful repeat musicians in the list, and the only non-English speaking musician to do so. I can't read the titles on the jacket so the songs in the top 100 are simply labelled track 1, and track 5. I commented in an earlier post about the stripped down accompaniments on the cassette (compared to the jazz bands that were common at the time in Addis Ababa), and on track 5 it is stripped down even further. With the elimination of the keyboard that is heard throughout the cassette, all that's left is the krar to accompany Bekele's voice. It is the most hypnotic track on the cassette, and one that I consider highly and will store in a special place.

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