[13] Mahmoud Ahmed – Ere Mela Mela

5 Jul

Expectations and assumptions are strange things.

On hearing that the next recording was “World music from Ethiopia” I’m picturing the alien soundscapes and wailing vocals of Moorish Music, the syncopated complexity of King Sunny Ade. So it is an understatement to say that I am surprised when I press play on Ere Mela Mela and hear the traditional, if dated, Western instrumentation.

It is a quintessentially 70s sound that would be quite at home over a Bond title sequence.

Ere Mela Mela

Ere Mela Mela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wavering yet assured vocals of Mahmoud Ahmed are striking over this conventional backdrop. These are songs of unrequited love that fit the 70s aesthetic perfectly – perhaps slightly cheesy, but undeniably heartfelt!

Some tracks are so catchy, with the slightest touch of funk, that they could almost have been classic Motown hits once your ear adjusts to the truncated melodic scale.

Ere Mela Mela was the first Ethiopian recording given worldwide exposure, and understandably gained something of a following on its 1986 release. I find it interesting that is was an album almost a dozen years old that made the trip across continents, rather than a more current vintage.

Testament, perhaps, to the importance of Mahmoud Ahmed and the original impact of the album in his homeland?

In all, while this is not my favorite recording to date, it is still one I’m glad to have encountered, interesting and engaging enough to recommend.

And I can’t help wondering what these polished recordings would sound like with Tom Jones booming deep and loud over the top.

Owned before blogging?  No. (1 of 13. 8%)
Heard before blogging?   No. (3 of 13. 23%)
Recommend?                    Yes. (9 of 13. 69%)

Next Week:  Air – Air Lore

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