Teranga Beat Yishak Banjaw: Love Songs vol.2 (1986)****
We heard already a few releases from mostly 80s Ethiopia in which Ethiopian flavoured melodies and rhythm-box like automatisms were already heard how well this could go hand in hand. Yishak Banjaw’s release, recorded at home, while he was working for the Police Band in Eritrea, was released locally on tape but never got much attention because at that time, due to the political unstable situation in which he was not able to travel to his neighbouring homeland Ethiopia. It is completely instrumental and was played entirely on a Casio PT, "a keyboard for kids" as he calls it himself. Being totally instrumental, and electronic, with exotic variations in the melody, some people when hearing this might think this must come from somewhere in the far east like Thailand or so, but these countries aren’t the only ones who use certain feelings for certain melodic variations. Very cleverly, the composer seems to control the automatic arpeggio’s of the Casio machine well, making hypnotic fluency in the accompaniment, playing one or two layers for the melody, add melodic bass line rhythmic repetitions mixed with bottle neck rhythms. He makes it sound natural, fluent, hypnotic, vivid and rather happy at the same time. The leads are like Ethiopian song line improvisations. Even slightly repetitive in its nature, its sound is fresh and clever / inspired. Worth discovering!