Ethiopia Super Krar
Released: Sep 2012
So much has been made of the "golden" era of '60s-'70s Ethio-pop that contemporary East African music often gets lost in the shuffle. Enter Krar Collective, a trio that balances respect for the past with a dynamic investment in Ethio-pop's future. Their namesake harp (the krar) is front and center on cuts like "Ambassel," a keening, complex metered slice of soul, and "Welaita," a rock-edged call and response. "Mr. Astatke" perhaps best sums up their ethos: Named for Ethio-jazz father Mulatu Astatke, the guitar-and-flute jam pushes the sound he helped create to the far edge of its parameters.