This Just In: Zelalem

Another “This Just In,” another feature on a release from RVNG Intl. No, they’re not paying us to feature stuff, it’s just that their releases are consistent FIRE! And this one is absolutely nothing like the last one we featured. It’s a simple equation – strong, varied releases bolster specialty labels. You might know Mikael Seifu from his releases on PPU (who also rock the specialty label equation quite well). He merges traditional Ethiopian instrumentation, form and rhythm with electronic glitch-groove-progressions, and the result is hypnotic and captivating. This merging is an E-MERGING underground form in Addis-Ababa, for which Seifu has coined the term “Ethiopiyawi Electronic.” Much like the Ethio-Jazz popularized by the likes of Mulatu Astatke, these combined forms intrigue the mind and ear, especially if you’re unfamilar with them, which many of us are. Take a listen to a track below and read more about Seifu’s style and approach. Don’t forget this week’s in-stock list as well, which is also FIRE! -MLE

Mikael Seifu – Zelalem 12″
Listen: “How To Save A Life (Vector Of Eternity)”
“Mikael Seifu’s Zelalem is an ode to – and a fearless break from – the storied lineage of Ethiopian music.

The literal Amharic translation of Zelalem is “eternity,” and through Seifu’s conceptual frame it becomes a “vector of light.” Seifu shines this light on the music of his home country while guiding us through an uncharted “Ethiopiyawi Electronic” – a coinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis-Ababa.

Illuminating the rich sounds of Addis-Ababa’s azmaris, Seifu’s music becomes a “dream brew” in which these traditional musicians collaborate and contribute vocals and lead voicings from folk instruments such as the Masenko and the Krar.

Seifu was educated at the Lycée Guebre-Mariam in Addis-Ababa. The French academy’s international group of students was Seifu’s first exposure to a world outside Ethiopia; his second was at Ramapo College in suburban New Jersey. Here Seifu met a mentor in Ben Neill, the composer and music technologist who trained with La Monte Young. Seifu was inspired by Neil to take serious his calling in music.

A calling of a different, spiritual nature brought Mikael back to Ethiopia. As a repatriated young man in Addis-Ababa, Seifu felt a renewed sense of allegiance to his home country and allowed its ubiquitous music to guide his creations. Seifu’s early work was shared across a string of EPs for stalwart Washington D.C. imprint 1432 R, demonstrating an interplay of regional folk music and international electronic music.

Mikael’s music does not westernize or electronicize extant Ethiopian music. Instead, Seifu uses Ethio-Jazz’s spirit of brewing estranged styles for his own musical tincturing. Seifu’s passion above all else is to create something befitting of its time, yet “eternally Ethiopian.” The latter phrase was the mantra guiding Seifu through the creation of Zelalem, and a source of inspiration for the cover artwork.

Zelalem spotlights the music of Ethiopia’s past as well its future. Mikael Seifu illustrates the potential for reinterpreting sacred and proud sources through energized palettes. His latest effort heralds the future of this new music and signals the genesis of Ethiopian Electronic, where the known and unknown commune.” -RVNG Intl.


Eternal circles – new releases, reissues & restocks…
A Day To Remember – For Those Who Have Heart (Picture) LP*, Homesick (Picture) LP*, Old Record (Picture) LP*
A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders LP, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths Of Rhythm 2LP, The Low End Theory 2LP
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color (Clear) 2LP
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion 2LP, Prospect Hummer EP 12”
Arca – Xen LP
Arcade Fire – Funeral LP
Ata Kak – Obaa Sima LP
Barrington Levy – Sweet Reggae Music LP
Belle & Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister LP
Ben Abraham – Sirens 2LP*
Black Keys – Chulahoma LP
Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality LP, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Live ’73 Paul’s Mall Boston LP*, Ultimate Wailers Box 5LP*
Bob Marley – Legend (The Best Of) LP
Bon Iver – Bon Iver LP
Carter Tanton – Jettison the Valley LP*
Charles Bradley – Change for the World 7”*
Chvrches – Bones Of What You Believe LP
Cocteau Twins – Heaven Or Las Vegas LP, Stars And Topsoil 2LP
Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head LP
Daft Punk – Discovery 2LP, Random Access Memories 2LP
David Bowie – Blackstar LP, Nothing Has Changed 2LP, Space Oddity LP
Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables LP, Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death LP
Dead Moon – Nervous Sooner Changes LP
Death Grips – Money Store LP, No Love Deep Web LP
Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 2LP
Depeche Mode – Violator LP
Dinosaur Jr. – Farm LP
Disclosure – Settle 2LP
DJ Shadow – Entroducing LP
Elvis Presley – Essential 2LP
Erykah Badu – Baduizm LP
Explosions In The Sky – Take Care 2LP, The Earth Is Not… LP
Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution LP*
Fhloston Paradigm – Cosmosis Volume 2 12” EP*
FKA twigs – EP2 12″, LP1 LP
Flogging Molly – Swagger LP
Four Tet – Morning / Evening LP, Pink 2LP
Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century… LP
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain LP
Gayngs  – Relayted 2LP
GoGo Penguin – Man Made Object LP*
Godspeed You Black Emperor – Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP 12″
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach 2LP, S/T 2LP
Greg Laswell – Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet LP*
Guerilla Toss – Eraser Stargazer LP*
Hostage Pageant – Barren Terminals LP*
Howlin’ Wolf – Killing Floor: Blues Essentials LP
Ibeyi – S/T LP
Interpol – S/T LP, Turn On The Bright Lights LP
Iron Maiden – Killers LP, Piece Of Mind LP
J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive 2LP
Jack White – Lazaretto LP
Jay-Z – The Black Album 2LP
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme LP, Ascension LP
John Lennon – Imagine LP
John Lennon – Rock ‘N’ Roll LP
Johnny Cash – Essential Johnny Cash 2LP
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures LP
Kaytronic – Thee Album 2LP*
KRS-ONE – Return Of The Boom Bap 2LP
Kurt Vile – Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze 2LP
Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun (2014) LP
Lana Del Rey – Paradise LP
Lapsley – Long Way Home LP*
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill 2LP
LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening 2LP
Led Zeppelin – III LP, IV LP, Physical Graffiti 2LP
Lee Perry & The Upsetters – Return Of The Super Ape LP
Lee Perry – Aura Meets Lee Perry At Black Ark LP
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’ Sam Hopkins LP
Loretta Lynn – Full Circle LP
Los Lobos – Just Another Band From East L.A. LP*
Lou Reed – Rock N Roll Animal LP
M Ward – More Rain LP
M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming 2LP
Mac Demarco – Rock & Roll Night Club EP 12″
Magrudergrind – II LP
Major Lazer – Free The Universe 2LP
Mary Lattimore – At The Dam LP*
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On LP
Miike Snow – III LP*
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue LP, Round About Midnight (Mono) LP
Moods – Moods LP*
Mono – Rays Of Darkness LP, The Last Dawn LP
Morrissey – Bona Drag 2LP
Motorhead – No Remorse 2LP
Nada Surf – You Know Who You Are LP
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton LP
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads 2LP
Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine LP
Nirvana – S/T LP
Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm – Trance Frendz LP*
Outkast – Stankonia 2LP
Pavement – Brighten The Corners LP, The Secret History Vol. 1 2LP
Peter Tosh – Legalize It LP
Pixies – Best Of: Wave Of Mutilation 2LP, Surfer Rosa LP
Polica – United Crushers LP*
Portishead – Third LP
Pharmakon – Abandon LP
Prince Rama – Xtreme Now LP*
Prins Thomas – Principe Del Norte 4LP + CD*
Puscifer – V Is For Viagra LP, Money Shot LP
Queen – A Night At The Opera LP, News Of The World LP
Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R LP
Rachel Goodrich – Baby, Now We’e Even EP 10”*
Radiohead – Hail To The Thief 2LP, OK Computer 2LP
Ramones – Ramones LP, Ramones Mania LP, Rocket To Russia LP
Ray Lamontagne – Ouroboros CD*, LP*
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication 2LP
Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street LP
Rush – 2112 LP, Hemispheres LP, Moving Pictures LP
Santana – Abraxas LP
Savages – Adore Life LP, Silence Yourself LP
Shovels & Rope – Busted Jukebox Vol. 1 LP*
Sigur Ros – Valtari 2LP
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle LP
Sonic Youth – Goo LP
Sound of Ceres – Nostalgia For Infinity LP*
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy LP
Sufjan Stevens – Age Of Adz 2LP, Seven Swans LP
Suicidal Tendencies – S/T LP
Sun Ra – Calling Planet Earth 2LP, My Way Is The Spaceways LP, Space Is The Place LP, Sun Song LP
Swim Team – Swim Team CS*
Tame Impala – Innerspeaker 2LP
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – Man Alive LP
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep… CD, 2LP
The Band – Band LP
The Clash – Combat Rock LP
The Fugees – The Score 2LP
The National – Boxer LP, High Violet 2LP
The Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow LP, The Queen Is Dead LP
The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream 2LP
Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man In Babylon 2LP
Thom Yorke – The Eraser LP
TLC – CrazySexyCool 2LP
Tortoise – The Catastrophist LP
Tsunami Bomb – Trust No One LP
Twerps – S/T LP
Tycho – Dive 2LP
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II LP, Blue Record EP 12″, Multi-Love LP
Various – Best Of Buena Vista Vol. 2 LP
Various – Eccentric Soul: Dynamic Label 2LP
Various – Eccentric Soul: Forte Label 2LP
Various – Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label CD
Various – Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City CD, 2LP
Various – From the Archive Compiled by Volcov 2LP
Various – Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles 2LP
Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything CD*
Wild Nothing – Life Of Pause LP
Wolvserpent – Aporia:Kala:Ananta LP*
Yearning Kru – Copper Vale LP*
Yeyey – The Vision LP*
yndi halda – Under Summer LP*

*Indicates new release or new reissue