Man Biye? / A Happy Disco Song

by Haile M. Ghiorgis

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  • Man Biye? / A Happy Disco Song 7" Single
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Our shop will be closed from August 18th to September 17th. Afterwards, all merch items will be available again. 7" vinyl single with picture sleeve. 500 copies, limited edition. Maximum of 2 copies per customer please.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Man Biye? / A Happy Disco Song via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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about

Born in Ethiopia in 1952, Haile M. Ghiorgis originally worked as a music instructor after school and played music together with several prominent groups of his countrymen – he was the keyboardist of Mahmoud Ahmed & Ibex Band and played for national stars like Tilahun Gessesse, among others. Due to the communist revolution in Ethopia in 1974, Haile decided to leave his motherland and due to his blindness in 1977 he was allowed to do so. Finding a new home in Hamburg, he performed together with various bands, including the afro pop group Soulful Dynamics and Jah Love (an early band of funk drummer and reggae artists Curvin Merchant aka Jamaica Papa Curvin). When those groups disbanded, Ghiorgis was retrained as a piano-tuner but also focussed on his own music.

Haile M. Ghiorgis was particularly fascinated by the digital-controlled synthesizer and rhythm-machines, whose operation he mastered without any difficulties in spite of his blindness. The drums came from a Yamaha drum computer and were recorded first. On top of that, bass and the melodies were added. Haile was using a Yamaha DX-7 keyboard, an old small Roland synth as well as an organ by Solton.

On the album, which was recorded in his small home studio in Hamburg on a TEAC 8-track tape machine, Haile M. Ghiorgis harmoniously blends western pop and jazz music with his native country’s folklore. Our favourite track, “Man biye?” is a sort of melancholic love song – it means “What shall I call you?”. A man searches for something though in vain to compare with the beauty of his beloved. The atmospheric instrumental features brilliant synth solos over deep downtempo beats – sort of like jazzy ethno synth funk in slow motion.

Side B of the single concludes the release with an uplifting solid disco track, simply called “A Happy Disco Song”. As it says in the liner notes of the LP, the song esteems Ethiopian hospitality and relates how welcome every stranger is and how even the poorest is ready to share with him. The track has a charming “private” vibe and surely should appeal to DJs and disco/boogie aficiandos.

The original LP “Survival” was primarily sold on live shows when he was on tour in the late 1980s throughout Europe, accompaning fellow Ethopian musicians including jazz legend Mulatu Astatke, among others, and almost never pops up. Therefore, we are very happy to be able to offer you this brilliant piece of music on a fresh sounding 7” single.

Further info:
- thick high quality picture sleeve
- fully licenced release
- 500 copies, limited edition
- the album will NOT be reissued

credits

released May 5, 2017

All songs composed, arranged, recorded and produced by Haile Mariam G. Ghiorgis at Studio Bahrdahr

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