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)

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