Saturday, June 19, 2010

Addis to Axum

A Mix by Quantic

If you follow this blog, you would have noticed over the last year my growing interest in African music, specifically that of Ethiopia.  Through projects like Oh No's Ethiopium and Mulatu Astatke's work with the Heliocentrics, I developed a taste for the sounds of this unique country, which has only been furthered by my discovery of Astatke's solo work.

This mix cd from Mochilla is a recording of a show from February of 2009, where Quantic performed a dj set, playing the music he found while on a trip to Ethiopia.  The mix, combined into one long track, encompasses many styles of Ethiopian music.

It was easy to recognize some of Astatke's work, but that would be the only thing that I knew.  The liner notes, while providing a good description of what Quantic was up to, do not credit any of the source material (which makes sense, as I'm sure there is no way in which the artists could be reliably compensated).

Some of the pieces played here are very annoying, in that way that the tribal music of a tribe not your own can get under your skin, but much of it is beautiful, haunting, or swinging, and it awakens a desire to learn more about the music of this country.

No comments: