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The Walias Vinyl, CD & tapes by The Walias at Norman Records

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Hailu Mergia

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Hailu Mergia & The Walias
Tche Belew

This long-lost LP of cross-cultural soul-funk-infused Ethio-jazz instrumentals from 1977 is considered one of the most important recordings of the aftermath of the 1974 revolution. The Walias were formed in the early '70s in Addis Ababa by keyboardist and arranger Hailu Mergia, cutting a series of 45s with various singers as well as this entirely instrumental LP, one song of which was removed by government censors. Thanks in no small part to the iconic track 'Musicawi Silt', original copies have been changing hands for literally thousands of pounds, so it's great that Awesome Tapes From Africa are finally making these iconic recordings available to the more casual collector.