This Just In: Tche Belew

We’re really big on Ethiopian music here at Sweat. Walk in on any given day and you’re bound to hear sounds of the vast Ethiopiques series (Vol 17: Tlahoun Gèssèssè is my favorite), or the more well-known works of Mulatu Astatke. Another artist we play the hell out of is Hailu Mergia. So naturally, I was stoked when the promo for Hailu Mergia & The Walias – Tche Belew arrived. Awesome Tapes from Africa doesn’t ever disappoint, but this might just be their finest reissue yet. Not only is the music enthralling, moving and fun, it carries a heavy socio-political history, which is rare for an instrumental album. Take a listen and read more about Tche Belew’s history below.

Hailu Mergia & The Walias – Tche Belew LP:
Listen – “Eti Gual Blenai

“The acclaimed and highly sought-after LP by Hailu Mergia and the Walias, Tche Belew, an album of instrumentals released in 1977, is perhaps the most seminal recording released in the aftermath of the 1974 revolution. The story of the Walias band is a critical chapter in Ethiopian popular music, taking place during a period of music industry flux and political complexity in the country.

Hailu Mergia, a keyboardist and arranger diligently working the nightclub scene in Addis Ababa, formed the Walias in the early 1970’s with a core group of musicians assembled from prior working bands. They played Mergia’s funk- and soul-informed tunes, while cutting 45rpm singles with various vocalists.

While the Walias performed at top hotels and played the presidential palace twice, their relationship with the Derg regime was complex, evidenced by the removal of one song from the record by government censors.

Decades later, Hailu Mergia was surprised to see the album fetching more than $4,000 at online auctions (it helped that the most popular of all Ethiopian tunes “Musicawi Silt” appeared on the record). Now everyone has the chance to listen again—or for the first time—to this timeless pillar of Ethiopian popular music.” -Awesome Tapes From Africa


Awesome sounds from everywhere – new releases, reissues & restocks…
A Tribe Called Quest – Anthology 2LP; Beats, Rhymes & Life 2LP; Midnight Marauders LP
Aislers Set – How I Learned To Write Backwards LP*
Allah-Las – Worship The Sun LP
Alt-J – This Is All Yours 2LP
April March – Paris In April LP
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds LP
Black Keys – thickfreakness LP
Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star LP
Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe 2LP
Bo Diddley – S/T LP
Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home LP; S/T LP; The Times They Are A-Changin’ LP
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago LP
Captain Beefheart – Safe As Milk LP
Can – Flow Motion LP*; Saw Delight LP*; Tago Mago 2LP
Com Truise – Galactic Melt 2LP, In Decay 2LP
David Vandervelde – The Moonstation House Band LP
Death Grips – Money Store LP
DJ Shadow – Entroducing LP
Ex Hex – Rips LP
Foxygen – …And Star Power 2LP*, CD*
Gang Starr – Daily Operation LP*
Girl Tears – Tension LP*
Gorillaz – S/T 2LP
Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead LP
Iggy Pop – Paris Palace LP*
Iron Maiden – Killers LP*; The Number Of The Beast LP*
Jack White – Lazaretto Ultra LP
James Brown – A Soulful Christmas LP*
Jimi Hendrix – Rainbow Bridge OST 2LP*
Johnny Cash – Rockabilly Blues LP
Johnny Marr – Playland LP
Kanye West – College Dropout 2LP; My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 3LP
Karen O – Crush Songs 2LP
Last Ex – S/T LP*
Led Zeppelin – II LP; S/T LP
LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening 2LP*
Leonard Cohen – Songs Of Love And Hate LP
Lula Reed – Blue & Moody LP
Mac Demarco – 2 LP; Salad Days LP
Melted Toys – S/T LP
Melvins – Hold It In CD*
Michael Jackson – Thriller 25th Anniversary Picture LP
Mike Doughty – Stellar Motel 2LP*
Mogwai – Come On Die Young Deluxe 4LP
Museum Of Love – S/T LP*
Naomi Punk – Television Man LP
Nothing – Guilty Of Everything LP
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton 2LP
Otis Redding – Otis Blue LP; The Soul Album LP
Pharmakon – Beastial Burden LP*
Pig Destroyer – Mass & Volume EP 12″*
Polyphonic Spree – Psychphonic LP*
Pulp – Different Class LP
Ryan Adams – S/T LP
Shakey Graves – And The War Came LP*
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There LP
Sensational Saints – You Won’t Believe It LP
Smashing Pumpkins – Adore 2LP
Stars – No One Is Lost 2LP, CD
Sufjan Stevens – Michigan LP
Swans – To Be Kind 3LP
Tennis – Ritual In Repeat LP
Tycho – Awake LP
United Nations – The Next Four Years LP*
Unwound – No Energy 3LP*
Various – Christmas Cocktails 2LP*
Various – Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Label 2LP
Various – Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label CD
Various – Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City CD
Velvet Underground – Golden Archive Series LP
Walter TV – Appetite LP*
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unraveling LP*
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End LP; S/T LP
Wu-Tang Clan – Iron Flag 2LP

*Indicates new release or new reissue