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I’ve always enjoyed World music - Nigerian genres like Afrobeat and Juju, in particular.  So to get better acquainted with Ethiopia, we’ve been exploring the country's music – specifically, the Ethiopiques series produced by French record label Buda Musique. This series features  music from Ethiopia's numerous regions. We currently have volumes 4 and 7 – the former features Ethio-Jazz from Mulatu Astatqe while the latter features the work of vocalist Mahmoud Ahmed. Both are great in their own way. Volume 4 is strictly instrumental - an ominous sound that paints a murky picture with its surplus of horns, driving piano rhythms,  and subtle guitar treatments. Volume 7 is nice because, musically, it has a similar sound and feel to 4, but it’s layered with the eerie and desperate vocals of Mahmoud Ahmed, one of the country’s most renowned singers.

I will admit that Ethiopian music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, although, Brandy and I instantly felt connected to it. Much like the food, I can see it being an acquired taste. Discovering new music is one of my absolute favorite things (just ask Brandy). But this is so much more. This music tells of a place halfway around the globe - a place that our baby girl calls home for now.

 


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