A promising producer performs sonic alchemy in Ethiopia’s capital city.
By Juliet Liu
Equipped with his PC, a copy of Ableton, and a wealth of cultural and personal experiences from his life in Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Records—the recording name of producer Endeguena Mulu—is staking a claim in the city’s burgeoning electronic scene. Mulu’s sound, which he calls “Ethiopiyawi Electronic,” lives in the interstitial space between UK garage, Ethiopian folk, and field recordings.
“Hetebet,” a cut off Ethiopian Records’s forthcoming Ben Engelf Lebe (In My Sleep) EP, has Mulu showing off his chops with a story of birth and one’s origins. “Hetebet” means umbilical cord in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. The practice of burying a newborn’s umbilical cord is common in Ethiopia, as well as many other cultures across the globe: “We say, ‘Take me back to where my hetebet is buried,’” Mulu told The FADER, “meaning, ‘to the motherland.’”