Monday, 26 September 2011

Tegadelti Bana Band

The Eritrean People's Liberation Front, an intellectual left-wing movement who lead the fight against the Ethiopian occupation of Eritrea, not only prioritised the equality of women in their society, but stressed the importance of Culture in helping to bring about revolution. The part that music played in Eritrea's fight for independence from Ethiopia is not just fascinating, but shows the power that music can have on a massive social scale. While European and American musicians were writing about girls and cars, Eritrean artists were helping to end the occupation of their country. Not that writing about girls and cars isn't important, but sometimes it's nice to realise that music can have a pretty huge impact on society.

The Tegadelti Bana Band are musically pretty far removed from the norm in terms of Western musicality - the auto-tuned vocals, the loping beat, the incredible repetition and the melodic phrasing all sound pretty alien to Western ears. It's pretty fascinating sonically, and unbelievably hypnotic. But maybe the most interesting aspect of these videos is the musicians themselves - Tegadelti Bana translates as Freedom Fighter Women. From what little i've been able to learn about these musicians, they themselves fought during the struggle for independence in the 80s and 90s. Oh and if anyone has information that might help me get in contact with them, please drop me an email.