Fact mix 771: Ethiopian Records

The pioneer and driving force of of Ethiopiyawi electronic shares a set featuring plenty of unreleased tracks and collaborations.

For the past few decades, Addis Abeba-based Endeguena Mulu – otherwise known as Ethiopian Records – has been developing what he calls Ethiopiyawi electronic. Inspired by Azmari culture, Ethiopian traditional music and the country’s jazz scene, Mulu began producing on the early software Tuareg when he was 14.

In recent years, Mulu has been closely affiliated with Washington, D.C.’s 1432 R label, on which he’s released three EPs, and featured on Warp’s Arcola offshoot, where he released 2018’s Ye Feqer Edaye / የፍቅር እዳዬ EP. Over the past few years, Mulu has been working with a team to build an independent event and representation company, WAG, for emerging Ethiopian artists.

The aim is for WAG to grow into a label and to build their own studio and creative space, GODJO. But this has all been hit with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are in a situation where not only all the time and personal finances we have poured into this project are put in jeopardy but also our survival,” Mulu says. “And we are not the only ones, every creative in Africa and around the world, and almost every working class person is affected harshly by this situation.”


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