The latest title from the wonderful Awesome Tapes From Africa label—the imprint run by Chicago-area native Brian Shimkovitz, born a couple years ago from a blog of the same name—was actually recorded in the U.S. Shemonmuanay was cut in Washington, D.C., home to a massive expat Ethiopian community, by keyboardist Hailu Mergia (it was billed to him and “His Classical Instrument”)—although it was released back in Ethiopia, where it became a big hit for the Kaifa label. It’s a strange album, a low-budget one-man-band project that at once harked back to the golden era of Ethiopian popular music in the 70s, when a rash of state-sponsored bands fueled the nightlife of Addis Ababa, and presaged a future of automated electronic instruments replacing real musicians.