Orange Funk Comp

Amharic speakers help us out…?

This is a guest post from a guy named Scott Kiehl:

Ethiopian Amharic speakers help us out. Please. Who is this? I’ve no
idea, but it’s definitely some kicking funk inna Ethio style, most
likely from the 70s (is that the Ethiopian calendar, where it’s the year is now 2000, or “ours”?) and probably a compilation from some old vinyl
45s. Fans of the Ethiopiques series will surely enjoy.

One of the many highlights in a recent trip to Ethiopia was cassette shopping—especially from the guys selling them from street stalls, where they’d
give you the chance to “test” them. 13 Months of Sunshine indeed!
Plenty more where this came from. Thanks to thursdayborn for the guest


Side A
Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5
Track 6


Side B
Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

February 4, 2008 at 5:10 am

Beautiful music, love it! Keep it up! I’ve been waiting to see some Ethiopian tapes here and hope I can contribute some tapes I’ve picked up from Ethiopia, too, one day…

The artist is Tilahun Gessesse and I count 11 images of him on the cover! (As is the case with transliteration, you’ll find variants of this spelling, esp. on the /Ethiopiques/ series, but this is the most common Amharic/English spelling.)

On the “spine” of the cassette tape it says “Tilahun Gessesse kawalias ‘band’ gar” or “Tilahun Gessesse with the Walias Band.” Walias Band is most famous for the song “Musicawi Silt,” which in my estimation, is the most frequently recorded instrumental composition, with recordings by the likes of Secret Chiefs 3, the Either/Orchestra, and Antibalas.

The back of the tape is a little bit trickier, and will take me a while. The track names are long and I want to be sure and get the composer and arranger information correct before I commit to a tranliteration/translation. This will probably take me a day or two. More to come…

February 4, 2008 at 1:52 pm

greetings from Brasil

great tunes, thank you very much

keep it up!


February 4, 2008 at 10:01 pm

10 tracks on the J-card, but 11 on the tape?

Oooooh those elusive Ethiopian hidden tracks!

February 4, 2008 at 10:20 pm

dank blog Dankovitz. my gift to you is coming soon buddy. Zach

February 6, 2008 at 1:20 pm

this is really great, thank you so much.

February 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm

yes thanks…got this tip from #it..thanks for sharing.

Olavo di Txadareply
February 13, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Just one more thing: Walya /Walia is the local name of an antilope type animal typical for Ethiopia; Ibex, or “CAPRA IBEX” in Latin phrasing.

February 14, 2008 at 12:08 am

thanks a lot for the comments!

February 14, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Hmm. From the reverb on his voice and the sound of the bass, I’d say this probably isn’t from the Imperial era (which ended in ’75). The recording is very different from anything I’ve heard on Ahma or Kaifa, though maybe a state-run studio would’ve sounded like this? I don’t know if there were any recordings of this type of music made by any state agencies.

Anyway, I’m just guessing, but I think it’s late 70s/early 80s. Can’t mistake that voice, either. Gessesse as (still is?) a helluva singer.

Editor Breply
February 16, 2008 at 5:15 am

I just discovered this blog thru an oblique series of links, and I’m knocked-out impressed.

By all means,keep it up.

And I hope Danny or someone finishes the translation. I’m obsessive that way.

February 17, 2008 at 6:33 pm

totally wicked, love Ethio music

February 21, 2008 at 11:32 pm

A friend hooked me up with this one here. Really great music. Missing some “Kolo” to nibble while listening.
Would appreciate a translation of track names etc.
Again, thanks for posting.

¡Mateo es así!reply
March 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm

This is beautiful. Can’t stop listening! Thank you.

March 31, 2008 at 12:05 am

thanks a lot! im a huge ethiopiques fan! sounds awesome!

be justreply
September 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm

some of these songs i have not heard for 23 years!

JU MLreply
January 29, 2010 at 7:37 am

This is my favourite tape of them all so far. I love how deep the funk is. Much heavier than anything by Ahmed or Gessesse that I’ve heard before. Love it!

Does anyone know how the tracks transliterate?

Keep it up!

July 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

The singer is Tilahun on the cover there is nothing that show the date; based on what i know (being an Ethiopian) i would say this done sometimes either 1967-68 or early 1971-72 Ethiopian calendar[ 1971-72 = 1980-81 western calendar]; i suspect the years mentioned because the band is not kibur zebegna(imperial body guard band) this means this staff must be done some times in the revolutionary era. and In the first year of the revolution the communists were in a process of griping power during this time which is 1967 Ethiopian calendar i think it was possible to release music of this kind; but all this gone as communists firmly control the nation and in the following 6 or 7 years of the communist revolution song and lyrics of this nature were not allowed it was almost after 8 years again music of this nature started pop-up again

October 18, 2011 at 6:59 am

Great Album. Thanks for sharing.
Here are the track names as listed on the album (which is the reverse of what’s posted)
Side A
1. Ye Minjar Lij (The girl from Minjar)
2. Keleleh Yelehem (You ain’t got it if you don’t got it)
3. Ere Fikir BeHig (In the name of Love)
4. Ye Tate Kelebet (The ring on my finger)
5. Tey Atabesachign (Please don’t make me suffer)

Side B.
1.Endezih Hone Ende (Is this how it is)
2. Beterswa Shegnechign (She abandoned me with a smile)
3. Ewnetegna Fikir (True Love)
4. Katu Zemed Yelem (No one befriends the broke)
5. Hiwet Kanchi Aybeltem (Life is not more precious than you)
6. Bonus instrumental track

December 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Stephen Daniel Karpikreply
October 27, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Here is the release on DISCOGS

but it’s missing the last two songs?

Playlist, Aug 27 2015 | ROOTS & BRANCHES Australiareply
August 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm

[…] Feature rarity:  UNKNOWN ARTISTS  3 unknown songs from unknown Ethiopian compilation cassette c 1970s  (label ?)  Can be heard / downloaded from this link. […]

August 6, 2016 at 3:20 am

pls this vinly pls change to cd

June 1, 2017 at 3:15 am

it posible to the casset how much?MY EMAil

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