PRE-ORDER ITEM : Expected February 29th 2016. This item will only be shipped to you on or after the official release date. Please note any orders containing pre-order items won't be shipped until all items are available, so please order this separately to avoid delays. Please remember that release dates are at the mercy of labels, distributors, and pressing plants and will change constantly.
Mikael Seifu’sZelalemis an ode to – and a fearless break from – the storied lineage of Ethiopian music.The literal Amharic translation ofZelalemis “eternity,” andthrough Seifu’s conceptual frame it becomes a “vector of light.”Seifu shines this light on the music of his home country while guiding us through an uncharted “Ethiopiyawi Electronic” – acoinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa. Illuminating the rich sounds of Addis-Ababa’s azmaris, Seifu’smusic becomes a “dream brew” in which these traditional musicians collaborate and contribute vocals and lead voicingsfrom folk instruments such as the Masenko and the Krar.Seifu was educated at the LycéeGuebre-Mariam in Addis-Ababa. The French academy’s international group of students was Seifu’s first exposure to a world outside Ethiopia; his second was at Ramapo College in suburban New Jersey.
Here Seifu met a mentor in Ben Neill, the composer and music technologist who trained with La Monte Young. Seifu was inspired by Neil to take serious his calling in music.A calling of a different, spiritual nature brought Mikael back to Ethiopia. As a repatriated young man in Addis-Ababa, Seifu felta renewed sense of allegiance to his home country and allowedits ubiquitous music to guide his creations. Seifu’s early work was shared across a string of EPs for stalwart Washington D.C.imprint 1432 R, demonstrating an interplay of regional folk music and international electronic music.Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music. Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing. Seifu’s passionabove all else is to create something befitting of its time, yet “eternally Ethiopian.” The latter phrase was the mantra guiding Seifu through the creation of Zelalem, and a source of inspiration for the cover artwork.Zelalemspotlights the music of Ethiopia’s past as well its future.Mikael Seifu illustrates the potential for reinterpreting sacred and proud sources through energized palettes. His latest effort heralds the future of this new music and signals the genesis of Ethiopian Electronic, where the known and unknown commune.