Cassette Chichika – Dance-floor heavy

The second in a series of mixes of obscure Ethio-funk Chichika gems, direct from Sheba Sound.

None of the songs on this mix were ever pressed up on a record, or reissued on CD. They are all original sounds recently dug up from old cassette shops around Ethiopia.

In 1974 Mengistu crushed Haile Selassie and came into power in Ethiopia. By the late 70s, all the labels pressing up tunes on vinyl, such as Amha and Philips, had been forced to shut down their operations.

This left the cassette shops to continue the work of publishing the new music that was coming out. Notable heavyweight houses pushing Amaharic music, such as Electra and Anbassel, took the lion’s share of the big names.

Naturally, as time went by, the sound of the music evolved. In this mix, you will hear how the classic 70s ‘ethio-funk’ sound (represented in the first ‘Chichika’ mix on this site) transforms in the 80s into something much less frantic and more precise. The bands themselves tend to be smaller, allowing the bass players to take a more driving lead. This particular evolution of the bass defines the sound of Amhara music from this period.

Tracklist (Artist / Title / Label)

Aregahegne Werash – Nafkot Yalefal (Electra)
Haile Mikael – Lebe Gerageru (Anbassel)
Muluken Melesse – Lemezawaez (Electra)
Ephrem Tamru – Akal Gela (Electra 1978)
Kefel Bekele – Mela Alesh (Menaz 1984)
Thiedros Tadesse – Bmewededachen (Electra)
Ayalew Mesfin – Kalegne Fegshem (Ayalew Bet)
Tsegaye Eshetu – Agerash Shegar
Teshome Welde – Matewa (Genet)
Fisseha Alamayehu – Endenesh
Haile Mikael – Agebe (Anbassel)

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