Download Mulatu Astatke - Afro-Latin Soul Vol. 1 & 2 (1966)
Download Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu of Ethiopia (1972)
Download Mulatu Astatke - Ethiopiques Vol. 4 (1998)
Download Mulatu Astatke - Emnete EP (2005)
In the late 1990s the French label Buda Musique released Volume Four of it’s Ethiopiques series; a series that focused attention on the fertile but overlooked musical era of Ethiopian popular music (1968 to 1974), for which band-leader/composer/arranger/musician Mulatu Astatke was a pivotal figure. This volume was the first in the series to focus on an individual artist, as well as the first to be made up entirely of instrumentals.
What Mr. Astatke created during that era was a unique amalgamation of musical ideas — successfully integrating the melodies of Ethiopia with the jazz and Latin music he fell in love with while performing and studying abroad. His compositions, beautiful in their simplicity, have a smoky late-night vibe; while his arrangements combine percolating Latin percussion, choruses of swirling Middle Eastern horns, Hendrix style guitar sounds and his own liquid organ and vibe playing to form a dense and intoxicating groove. Essential.