Hailu Mergia - Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye

Hailu Mergia - Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye

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Stunning stuff from Awesome Tapes From Africa. Hailu Mergia is a one-man band. In 1985 master accordionist and veteran Walias Band leader/arranger/keyboardist released the Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument / Shemonmuanaye cassette. The tape is a nostalgic effort to bring back the vintage accordion sound of his youth. Hailu was already celebrated for his work with the industryshifting Addis Ababa ethiojazz and funk outfit the Walias Band, and he pressed forward using new tools to reshape the popular sounds of the past. Adding a Moog synthesizer, Rhodes electric piano and rhythm machine to the harmonic layering of his accordion, he creates hauntingly psychedelic instrumentals. These songs draw from famous traditional and modern Ethiopian songs, as Hailu matches Amhara, Tigrinya and Oromo melodies to otherworldly flavors soaked in jazz and blues. The result is a lush, futuristic landscape, balancing Ethiopian music's signature pentatonic modes and melodic shape with beautiful analog synth flair.
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