New Rough Guides Releases Out Now: Ethiopia & Hungary - Listen Here
On 10th September 2012, these two brand new compilations are must-haves for your world music collection.
The Rough Guide to the music of Ethiopia is a comprehensive overview of the coolest and grooviest sounds to come out of the East African country. The Rough Guide to the music of Hungary showcases some of the most dynamic contemporary sounds and old folk favourties from the European country.
On this Rough Guide the ‘Golden Age’ of recorded Ethiopian music is paid homage to via tracks by seminal Ethio-jazz musicians Mahmoud Ahmed and Alemayehu Eshete. Other handpicked gems include the energetic music of saxophone prodigy Getatchew Mekuria. Dynamic London-based ensemble Krar Collective, who are also releasing their debut album on 10 September 2021, rock the track ‘Ende Eyerusalem’ with their signature forthright attitude and soaring female vocals.
This Rough Guide also considers some unique fusion projects, such as Dub Colossus and Invisible System, that marry traditional Ethiopian grooves with dub, rock and punk sensibilities.
The Rough Guide to the music of Ethiopia is soaked in the urban cool that pervades Ethiopian music, both traditional and modern. Traverse the grooves of the ancient mountain kingdom, from antique vibes to futuristic styles.
Have a listen to 'Ohoho Gedama' below by Mahmoud Ahmed to get a taste of the jazzy cool sounds you can expect to explore on The Rough Guide to the music of Ethiopia.
Below is a video of Dub Coloussus in full flow live mode:
Hungarian music, which bears the influence of folk, gypsy and Jewish tunes, is a living and breathing European tradition with its own unique instruments. Listen out for cimbalom master Kálmán Balogh, dazzling fiddler Róbert Lakatos, and traditional gypsy party band Parno Graszt.
This album opens with a track by dazzling fiddler and violist Róbert Lakatos. Here he plays folk songs from Transylvania, originally collected and used in other pieces by Béla Bartók a hundred years ago. Other appearances include those by the exquisite vocalist Beáta Palya, who expanded her knowledge of Eastern European folklore by studying Indian and Persian traditions in France.
Another young singer Ági Szalóki explores the live aspect of folk tradition with one of her wonderfully creative arrangements, ‘Elementem A Piacara’. The cimbalom, a traditional hammered dulcimer, has achieved international recognition thanks to players such as Kálmán Balogh, heard here on the track, ‘Keserédes Kávé’ (‘Bittersweet Coffee’).
A fantastic bonus album is provided by up and coming band, Tárkány-Müvek who fuse together the raw energy of traditional Hungarian folk, the intellectual rigour of classical music, and the spiritual depth of avant gade jazz and poety together into one fabulous mix.
Have a listen to this track by Lakatos Róbert És A Rév. Enjoy his effortless navigation between two worlds: classical and folk. Here he plays folk songs from Transylvania, originally collected and used in other pieces byBartók a hundred years ago.
Then, check out one of the most influential groups of the contemporary folk secen Kerekes Band. Here they are playing live and doing their fabulous thing in the video below. They add a high does of energy and humour to their traditional repertoire creating 'ethno-funk'.
New City Music, Chicago: 'a great showcase of the funky sounds currently made in Crescent City'.
The Guardian, UK, 3*** stars: 'A classy compilation'.
Guardian, UK 4****stars: 'A highly original, compelling set'.
Froots, UK: '... a superb album of an under-represented music ... and comes highly recommended'.