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|4.||"Anchi Hoye Lene"|
Ever since he reissued one of his obscure 1980s cassette albums in 2013, Awesome Tapes From Africa boss Brian Shimkovitz has been encouraging Hailu Mergia to get back in the studio. Finally, the Ethiopian organist and synthesizer player has risen to the challenge, delivering what appears to be his first new full-length for 20 years. It's a joyous affair, all told, with Mergia and accompanying musicians presenting an inspired fusion of traditional Ethopian sounds, jazz, jazz-funk and sparkly left-of-centre Afro-lounge fusion. While Mergia's organs and synths - and, on memorable closer "Yelfkir Engururo", solo piano - naturally come to the fore throughout, they don't dominate the soundspace, making Lala Bebu a pleasingly well-balanced affair.
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