Fact Mixes I by I 17.08.20

Fact mix 771: Ethiopian Records

The pioneer and driving force of of Ethiopiyawi electronic shares a set featuring plenty of unreleased tracks and collaborations.

For the past few decades, Addis Abeba-based Endeguena Mulu – otherwise known as Ethiopian Records – has been developing what he calls Ethiopiyawi electronic. Inspired by Azmari culture, Ethiopian traditional music and the country’s jazz scene, Mulu began producing on the early software Tuareg when he was 14.

In recent years, Mulu has been closely affiliated with Washington, D.C.’s 1432 R label, on which he’s released three EPs, and featured on Warp’s Arcola offshoot, where he released 2018’s Ye Feqer Edaye / የፍቅር እዳዬ EP. Over the past few years, Mulu has been working with a team to build an independent event and representation company, WAG, for emerging Ethiopian artists.

The aim is for WAG to grow into a label and to build their own studio and creative space, GODJO. But this has all been hit with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are in a situation where not only all the time and personal finances we have poured into this project are put in jeopardy but also our survival,” Mulu says. “And we are not the only ones, every creative in Africa and around the world, and almost every working class person is affected harshly by this situation.”

In order to put out his next record, a double EP called Wel, Mulu has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, which will also help to produce two music videos, sustain his team and go towards the building of the GODJO studio. “Wel means togetherness and it is inspired from Laureate Poet Tsegaye Gebremedhin’s poem recordings,” Mulu says.

“We are asking for people to come forth and take charge of their destiny like we are trying to do,” Mulu continues. “Change only comes through revolution, and demanding for it, lovingly and intentionally, we are advocating for a world that’s different from the globalised unjust world we live in today, we are advocating for a world where diversity is encouraged and forced assimilation is a thing of the past.”

Ethiopian Records’ Fact mix is mostly comprised of original tracks and collaborations, all of which are unreleased. “In the beginning I have a sample of Fred Hampton where he talks about all people coming together to fight the injustices of this world, coming in a way where they don’t delegate power but take charge of it,” Mulu says.

“All the tracks are Ethiopiyawi Electronic tracks. About the track titles, Lyika means revolution in Yoruba. Tesfa Newu Sinqe means Hope is my only sustenance in Amharic, Jaallala means Love in Oromifa. The track I did collaborate on with Iri is words by Laureat Tsegaye Gebremedhin’s poem, ‘Feqer Feran’. Most of the tracks are still unfinished. You are basically getting a look behind the curtain of what might be coming up.”

You can support the Wel crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo and find Ethiopian Records on Bandcamp. You can also watch his recent Against The Clock episode here.

Tracklist:

Ethiopian Records / Fred Hampton/ Gigi Enat Hager – ‘There is a Class over and a class over there’
Ethiopian Records – Untitled 
Ethiopian Records – Untitled 
Ethiopian Records / Dub Colossus – Untitled / ‘Sima Eda’
Ethiopian Records – ‘Lyika’ (ft. Mimi)
Ethiopian Records – ‘Tesfa Newu Sinqe (Jaallala)’
Ethiopian Records / Sami Dan – Untitled / ‘Wedelay’
Ethiopian Records / Iri / Laureat Tsegaye Gebremedhin – ‘Fiqir Feran’
Ethiopian Records ft. Mimi – ‘F**k your ego your machismo and charm where is your substance at’ 
Maritu Leguesse – ‘Akale Wube’ / Ethiopian Records – Unknown Track (live)
Ethiopian Records – Untitled

Listen next: Fact mix 770: Lyra Pramuk

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