If you're a fan of Aster Aweke or Kuku Sebsebe, you'll no doubt enjoy this cassette by Ethiopian vocalist Martha Ashagari.
Ärä Bakeh (Ambassel Music Shop) was released in 1993 shortly after the fall of the Derg, but Ashagari has been singing professionally since 1988 with the Abyssinia and Roha Bands, and during the '90s had her own nightclub in Addis Ababa. In 1996 she recorded the CD Child's Love/Ye-Lij Fiker, which is available online from AIT Records (I included a tune from it on my compilation African Divas Vol. 2).
Ashagari is notable for her unique vocal tone, somewhere between a sob and a wail. Side 1 of Ärä Bakəh typifies the '80s-'90s Ethiopian style, but Martha really hits her stride with side 2 of the cassette, especially the emotional ballads "Zoma" and "Ende Näh" and the Tigrinya song "Sälam Bäluläy."
Martha Ashagari - Ärä Bakeh
Martha Ashagari - Feqer Näw
Martha Ashagari - Alchalkutem
Martha Ashagari - Bämen Yedanyal
Martha Ashagari - Gorded
Martha Ashagari - Dämayle
Martha Ashagari - Zoma (Yäbati lej)
Martha Ashagari - Endäzzihəm Allä
Martha Ashagari - Ende Näh
Martha Ashagari - Sälam Bäluläy (Tigrinya)
Download Ärä Bakeh as a zipped file here. As usual, I'm including a scan of the original cassette inlay card if someone would care to correct my transliteration of the Ge'ez text (click to enlarge):
Update: Thanks to Andreas Wetter for his correction of my transliteration.