The never-predictable New York label will release Zelalem in March, a showcase of the ‘Ethiopiyawi Electronic’ sound being made by Seifu and his peers in the Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa.
Seifu attended a French academy in Addis-Ababa before heading to college in suburban New Jersey, where he discovered the music of drone kig La Monte Young. Returning to Ethiopia, Seifu allowed his native country’s music to guide his compositions, blending regional folk music with electronics on a handful of EPs for the excellent Washington D.C. label 1432 R.
RVNG point out that Seifu’s debut album, Zelalem, is not a westernized version of Ethiopian music but a “dream brew” combining electronic elements with traditional voices and folk instruments, inspired by the fusion spirit of Ethio-jazz.
Zelalem is out on March 5 on vinyl and digital formats. Ahead of that, Seifu’s 50-minute cassette compiling native Ethiopian and African folk music will be available on January 20 through RVNG Intl.
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