News

The Weeknd's Dirty Little Mixtape Part 3: Echoes of Silence


 

Do NOT get it twisted people, the brilliant write-up below comes not from moi but from Okayplayer Editor-In-Chief Eddie Stats. We're re-posting b/c didja know that The Weeknd's main man Abel Tesfaye is Ethiopian? Yup, that's right Ethiopia - claim him while you can before some other entity gets their dirty little paws all up in there -->

While we were snug in our beds enjoying a long winter’s nap last night The Weeknd crept spider-like down our chimney and left an ornately wrapped present staple-gunned to the fridge. When we woke up this morning, our kitchen contained a camo jacket that smelled like cigarette smoke, bloody Santa pants and a few popped balloons – and this mixtape Echoes of Silence–part free in the House of Balloons trilogy. Also somebody had scrawled big Xs and Os all over the bathroom mirror. Still unpacking the contents of this (fishnet) Christmas stocking but just based on the title track and the cover of Michael Jackson‘s “Dirty Diana” (oh, yes. He did.) Echoes is going to prove to be as quirky, ambitious and brilliant as the first two installments. Download below – and get ready to start paying out for your Weeknd entertainment in 2012. The free party is over!

<<<<DOWNLOAD HERE >>>>>

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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