[Music] Girma Bèyènè & Akalé Wubé – Enkèn Yèlélèbesh

Girma Bèyènè was one of the leading lights of Ethio-jazz during the 1960s and 1970s, before the rotten Deng ruined music for decades. He moved on to Washington D.C. and continued to make music with fellow Ethiopian ex-pats. He ended up getting asked by French band Akalé Wubé to come out of retirement and sing, and this groovy cut is but one of the tracks they paired up with. Their collaboration album is available on Bandcamp.

[Music] The Mariachi Men of Yugoslavia

Jonny Wrate of Roads and Kingdoms Magazine writes the article for the year for me!

Many years ago, while living in Macedonia, my friends and I would discuss music, and two, Igor and Goran, turned me on to the fact that Mexican music was actually a big deal in the former Yugoslavia. It was the most amusing thing I had ever heard, as I grew up with a lot of boleros in my house (Los Panchos, Los Tres Ases, and others, for example). It blew my mind that such a scene would exist, but they were emphatic in telling me that such a creature DID indeed exist. They even showed me record covers like the one above, recorded by the ever-tacky, ever awesome Ljubomir Milić.

Wrate’s back story really does a nice job of filling in the history of a very unique time in my beloved Balkans which ties into the music I loved as a child.