Melaku Belay runs an amazing club in Addis Abeba. Over the years we’ve spent there many nights and saw more than incredible music and dance. An Azmari-bet new style. With new ways of running the place and taking care of the artists. But still keeping all focus on the creativity and social function of a cultural bar.
Melaku likes to call the music ‘Addis Tradition’, which means ‘new tradition’. And that how it is. You feel the strong, traditional Ethiopian tunes, deeply rooted in the culture of many regions, but you also sense the new generation of great dancers and musicians. All five of this Fendika group are extremely talented and groundbreaking in their technique and approach.
It was very inspiring discovering them, bringing them over to Europe, playing several tours and Ex Festivals, being on the road and even playing a set together! We are very happy we were able to make a great acoustic recording and to release it, with the input of many. Andy’s great photos, Emma’s artwork and Arnold’s mixing and fixing in particular. Many people should hear this! Have a great listen!
All songs based on traditional melodies and scales from specific regions.
Arrangements by Melaku Belay.
Recorded at Electric Monkey, Amsterdam, Holland. 14 July 2015 by Kasper Frenkel.
Mixed by Kasper Frenkel and Arnold de Boer. September 2016.
Artwork and layout by Emma Fischer.
Cover photo by Kasper Vogelzang, taken at Paradiso, Amsterdam, during The Ex Festival, 1 March 2014.
Booklet photos by Andy Moor.
Interview by Ken Vandermark and Terrie Hessels.

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