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Ethiopian Electronic Producer Mikael Seifu Has A New EP On The Way And We Couldn’t Be More Stoked

Hear the powerful first track off Mikael Seifu's upcoming 'Zelalem' EP, out March 4 on RVNG Intl.

Photo: Mulugeta Teklemariam. Source: Facebook.


Addis Ababa-based producer Mikael Seifu is the mastermind behind a sound he's termed Ethiopiyawi Electronic–a fusion of traditional Ethiopian folk instruments and Burial-style UK garage and house production that first caught our attention in 2014.

After putting out The Lost Drum Beat via the Washington, D.C. imprint 1432 R last year, Seifu will return this March with a five-track EP by way of the Brooklyn-based RVNG Intl. According to RVNG, Zelalem (which translates to “eternity” in Amharic) is an “ode to – and a fearless break from – the storied lineage of Ethiopian music.”

The label adds:

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 passion above 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.

Zelalem spotlights 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.

Along with news of the EP yesterday, RVNG has shared the first of Seifu’s Zelalem tracks, the gorgeous “How To Save A Life (Vector of Eternity).” Listen below.

Check out the full track-listing here. Zelalem is due out March 4 on vinyl and digital formats. Accompanying the release is a fifty-minute cassette mix by Seifu compiling native Ethiopian and African folk music. Head to RVNG Intl. to pick up a pre-order.

Zelalem EP:

01 The Protectors

02 The Solipsist

03 Soul Manifest

04 How To Save a Life (Vector of Eternity)

05 ዘላለም (Vector of Light)

News Brief
Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.


Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.


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