Following our video of Ethiopian funk legend Ayalew Mesfin's triumphant show at Le Guess Who? 2019, we can now release some highlights of his performance as audio stream, recorded by Marc Broer, together with a stunning photo series by Melanie Marsman of Mesfin's first ever European performance, after his music has gone unheard for 40 years, either on stage or on record.
Listen to five tracks from the show below and view Melanie Marsman full photo series here in our gallery.
Ayalew Mesfin backstage at TivoliVredenburg, by Melanie Marsman.
Ayalew Mesfin’s music rebelled vigorously against Ethiopia’s dictatorial oppression of the 70s and, like many of his contemporaries, he struggled against obscurity amidst political turmoil. Distributing 4000 cassettes for free - later becoming collector’s items - led to several months in jail for Mesfin and a prohibition to play music for 13 years.
After his music has gone unheard for 40 years, the quintessential Ethio-groove performer gave his first ever European performance at Le Guess Who? 2019: a show that featured the Debo Band, who formed in 2006 to keep the spirit and craft of Ethiopia’s golden age of pop alive.
Ayalew Mesfin & Debo Band backstage at TivoliVredenburg, by Melanie Marsman.
Ayalew Mesfin live at TivoliVredenburg's Ronda during LGW19, by Melanie Marsman.