The debut EP from E.R. AKA Ethiopian Records AKA Endeguena Mulu is a real breath of fresh air.
Deep and vivid basslines encase absorbing pulses of thick house beats, as skillfully arranged samples of traditional vocals and instruments lend the tracks a refreshing authenticity.
The record, titled Qen Sew ቅን ሰዉ, is on digital release from independent label 1432 R. This isn’t the first time these guys have sought sounds beyond oceans and deserts for their releases – such is the digital age. Mikael Seifu, another Ethiopian producer based in Addis Ababa, treads a similar path to E.R. having also released some stellar pieces with the Washington-based label.
There’s a real future in electronic sounds from leftfield & “exotic” sources, i.e. other than the western standard. And E.R. produces them fantastically well. This fusion of traditional timbres and styles with the world of electronic production opens a whole new spectrum of contemporary sound. It sticks two fingers up to an increasingly homogenised global electronic scene, but also draws enough from it to seem familiar and approachable – as well as a rich cultural history of music.
E.R himself lists Amon Tobin, J Dilla and Kode9 among Francis Bebey, Mulatu Astatke, Asnaketch Worku and Alemayehu Eshete as heavy influences on his work – as well as collaborators Mikael Seifu (above) and the Zion Rebels. Qen Sew ቅን ሰዉ, which translates as “good-hearted” or “kind-hearted person”, is dedicated to Mulu’s father. It also makes for excellent listening.
Stream the first two tracks below.