Saturday, December 20, 2008
Whoa!Totally #5: Mulatu Astatke's Ethiopiques, Vol. 4
This is, hands-down, the best $9.99 I've ever spent on iTunes. Listening to this smokin' Ethiopian jazz (yes, I said Ethiopian jazz) album makes me feel like I'm in some sexy international spy caper from the 60s, or a blaxploitation film, or an opium den. Its smokin', hip-grinding, chilled-out grooves are reminiscent of Lester Young or John Coltrane, only more hypnotic, funky & downright rad.
That's why Mulatu Astatke's Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz and Musique Instrumentale (1969-1974) is today's Whoa!Totally.
Perhaps you remember this music from the 2005 Jim Jarmusch film, Broken Flowers, with Bill Murray. It would have been a stylish but fairly disappointing and unmemorable film (especially coming directly off of Bill Murray's resurrection in Lost in Translation & Wes Anderson's films), had it not been for that soundtrack! Remember how the main character's neighbor Winston makes him a mix CD as a soundtrack for his quest? Well, that soundtrack managed to linger in my head for three years (even though the movie left little impression on me) before I tracked its awesomeness back to the amazing Mulatu Astatke.
Even if you're not the biggest fan of "World" music, check this album out (and for god's sake retire Gotan Project already). It will instantaneously turn your crappy condo in Texas into a swingin' late 60s den of iniquity. Put on some dark sunglasses & break open the Campari; you're about to feel a whole lot groovier.