First time ever on LP, this recording came out in 1975 on the Walis' own label via cassette. It's barely been seen in the decades since but this first full-length album by the seminal band is now available worldwide.
From their genesis as members of the Venus club in-house band in the early 70s, The Walias were at the forefront of the musical revolution during an era where modern instruments and foreign styles superseded the traditional fare to become the staple sound of Ethiopia. No one would argue that The Walias were the trailblazing powerhouse of modern Ethiopian music.
They were the first band to form independently without affiliation to a theatre house, a club or a hotel; unprecedented and risky as they had to raise all funding for expenses by themselves including buying equipment. They were the first to release full instrumental albums, considered to be commercially unviable at the time. They opened their own recording studio, with band members Melake Gebre and Mahmoud Aman doubling as technical buffs during sessions. They were also the first independent band to tour abroad. In short, they were the pioneers every band tried to emulate; some more successfully than others.
Their pinnacle came when they took residency at the Hilton Addis- the place to be- and became the go-to backing band for some of the greatest Ethiopian artists. They utilized their strong connections with big names in the industry from their previous incarnations (Most of the group had worked together since their early musical careers, notably as members of Shebelle Hotel band). Tilahun Gessesse, Getachew Kassa, Muluken Melese, Mahmoud Ahmed and Mulatu Astatke were major early collaborators while the band also gave opportunities to up-and-coming vocalists that would dominate the music scene for decades to come. Artists Tsehaye Yohannes, Netsanet Melese, Wubishet Fisseha and Seyoum Gebreyes all made their name after recording with The Walias. ....... więcej