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Éthiopiques, Vol. 7: Mahmoud Ahmed (1975)

Mahmoud Ahmed

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Album Review

Recording in the '70s in Addis Ababa, Ahmed mixed R&B with hypnotic Eastern vocal lines to create a most unusual style. At first the music seems familiar, with a lineup of guitar, bass, drums, and organ sounding like an ersatz Booker T and the MG's. But when Ahmed's keening, confounding voice joins in, listeners find themselves in new territory. The music is worthwhile just for its unsettling quality on Western ears.


Born: 18 May 1941 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In Ethiopia the word is "eskeusta," which roughly translated means ecstasy; more specifically, it is a shaking sensation that begins at one's shoulders, quivering down the spine and into the legs and feet. Of all the great male vocalists that Ethiopia has produced (and...
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Éthiopiques, Vol. 7: Mahmoud Ahmed (1975), Mahmoud Ahmed
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