14 Songs, 1 Hour 12 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 2003 Parisian DJ and Producer Bruno Blum supervised the creation of dubbed-out remixes of Serge Gainsbourg’s outré ‘80s- era experiments with reggae, and in 2010 he organized Eritrea’s Got Soul, a project that found Blum journeying to Asmara to record veteran Eritrean musicians. A lot of the resulting material sounds like a somewhat more polished take on classic Ethiopian and Eritrean Jazz, but there’s enough stylistic variety here — Eritrean-reggae hybrids, some tentative MCing, and some stunning folk numbers featuring the harp-like krar, the oud and other traditional instruments — to keep things from sounding too homogenous, or too single-mindedly retro. There is a wealth of brilliant music here. Temasgen Yared channels the great Tilahuan Gessesse and all of the glamour of ‘70s Addis on “Ykre Beini,” while the circular Tigrigna rhythms of “Inedir” evoke a more rural, desert-like sound. Eritrea’s Got Soul is a remarkable musical document, easily as galvanizing as contemporary comeback efforts by Ethiopian greats like Mulatu Astatke and Getatchew Mekurya.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 2003 Parisian DJ and Producer Bruno Blum supervised the creation of dubbed-out remixes of Serge Gainsbourg’s outré ‘80s- era experiments with reggae, and in 2010 he organized Eritrea’s Got Soul, a project that found Blum journeying to Asmara to record veteran Eritrean musicians. A lot of the resulting material sounds like a somewhat more polished take on classic Ethiopian and Eritrean Jazz, but there’s enough stylistic variety here — Eritrean-reggae hybrids, some tentative MCing, and some stunning folk numbers featuring the harp-like krar, the oud and other traditional instruments — to keep things from sounding too homogenous, or too single-mindedly retro. There is a wealth of brilliant music here. Temasgen Yared channels the great Tilahuan Gessesse and all of the glamour of ‘70s Addis on “Ykre Beini,” while the circular Tigrigna rhythms of “Inedir” evoke a more rural, desert-like sound. Eritrea’s Got Soul is a remarkable musical document, easily as galvanizing as contemporary comeback efforts by Ethiopian greats like Mulatu Astatke and Getatchew Mekurya.

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