Alem Kebede - Shemma Tal

I picked up this CD (Akelaletew) in the small and charming Kukulu Market in Edgewater, Chicago last week. The shop had about a dozen different albums stocked under the counter in a glass cabinet, and the shopkeeper guided me through the various titles. He explained to me that younger generations don't have much interest in oldies music and so was pleased and a little surprised when I pointed out the Alemayehu Eshete CD that I wanted to add to my basket. For balance I also bought a Ketema Mekonnen album (traditional music performed on krar) and the Alem Kebede album (a new release by a younger artist) featured here. This song, Shemma Tal, is the album's opener. It kicks off with a synth ostinato that pops up throughout the track and buries itself in the memory of the listener. Synthesised horns weave in and out of Kebede's vocals, themselves treated with a panned delay that makes the melody all the more mind-bending.

Label: Nahom
Year: 2015
Genre: Ethiopian pop

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