Asnakech Worku: Asnakech
Ethiopian singer, actor, dancer and instrumentalist Asnakech Worku did it all. On the relatively modest 1975 recording Asnakech (Awesome Tapes From Africa), however, Worku sings and plays the lute-like krar alongside keyboardist Hailu Mergia (currently enjoying a late-life artistic renaissance) and a drummer. Her krar weaves insistent patterns over Mergia’s pentatonic organ chords as Worku sings about macho men, double dealers and true love. The remastered cassette also contains a couple of enthusiastically delivered patriotic songs of the sort that Ethiopia’s military government required popular musicians to record.