The past two years has been a moment of renaissance for the passive Ethiopian music and the whole music industry in the country. Artists who have been missing in action from public returned with new albums and music videos are taking production level to another level. Event organizers have been busy hosting concerts throughout the year breaking the holiday eve concert trend along local artists as well as international.
In 2012, Jano band released their first album, “Ertale”. On it was the hit song “Ayrak and Mariye” which hurled the band to stardom. Now, almost six years later, the band has just released their second full-length album. And it is safe to say that it remains to be the most diverse-sounding album, illustrating how fluidly the group can transition from genre to genre.
Jano band, considered to be the brainchild of the Ethiopian Addis Gessesse has faced several criticisms after they start working independently, people doubting if they would go far persevering their initial goal as well as energy to reach it. But, the group has been active ever since their first album towards working on a new album and touring around locally and worldwide shows. Not to forget, their nomination for two awards at the AFRIMA 3.0 for the Best African Group and Best Group in African Rock as well as their appearance on Coke Studio Africa 2017 making their debut paired with the talented South African vocalist Shekhinah. They have shown us that their energy is not only in one piece but something that builds up with each performance they give out.
Known for their unique way of blending traditional melodies with the sounds of bass, metal guitars, drums, intense vocals which is a different rhythm from Ethiopian music as we know it, this year, on their new album “Lerasih New”, the band introduced our very own traditional instruments backed by teddy and sami on masinko, Gash Tamru on kirar and Abu Gebre on Washint. Not only instruments but also crossed borders creating a Somalia track with Haleluya on vocals. The album consists 16 tracks with lyrics covering several topics.
Almost after six years, Jano Band showed what they have been working on throughout the years and proved their fans right as always. The long-awaited album is now in the hands of many who have been following their shows and concerts for years and are looking forward to listen to new songs live where the band could take them to another level of vigorous performance.
Since the release of their second album there has been an overall good reaction from fans who were eagerly waiting for new album. Miki Mac who is also singer and songwriter hailed Jano Band for putting out an album that is well produced and deep in its lyrics as well.
ታዛዥዎ መቅደላ መኩሪያ reflected how Jano bands are breaking trends and introducing new sounds that is very energetic for live performance.
From the public reaction most fans had positive response to the concept of Jano’s blending local instruments in a way that has never been done before. For instance Biniyam specifically mentions how amazing the fusion between the rock sound and Ethiopian local genres and musical instruments were executed in the album.