Eténèsh Wassié & Mathieu Sourisseau

Eténèsh Wassié & Mathieu Sourisseau


The Ethiopian repertoire revisited with rock, noise and even punk melodies, creating a musical « Gap », reveals the essence of that particular type of music. Eténèsh’s voice, wild and secret takes us into a very rare universe.


Eténèsh Wassié and Mathieu Sourisseau have shared a natural complicity straightaway, as they were partners in the Ethio-Experience work led by Le Tigre des Platanes. Their meeting has inspired an intimist music style which mixes voice and acoustic bass and freely fills up space to transport the listeners to a newly discovered dimension. The Duo plays a contained, self controled music, makes fun of the gap between genres, and breaks the codes of the traditional songs chosen by Eténèsh Wassié, who wasfed on Azmari culture, and whose open-mind and experience show of a successful artistic risk-taking. The Ethiopian repertoire is arranged in order to obtain pop, rock and even punk melodies, and this original difference creates the essence of their music. Eténèsh's wild and secretive voice takes us into a rare universe. Mathieu Sourisseau's performance has always been inspired by very varied influences: from Mingus jazz to Tom Waits, from Sonic Youth to the Niger riverbanks and to the magnificent discs collection "Ethiopics". This partnership results in a strong identity, mixing cultures and changing rules. Eténèsh Wassié picks songs with a new outlook. The singer, of Azmari culture, shows her open mindedness and experience through her successful artistic boldness. The duet's music is reserved, restrained; yet, it teases the senses by its unorthodox arrangements and shakes the rules of those popular songs..

Eténèsh was born in Gonder and started to sing in Addis Abeba fifteen years ago in azmaribet.
These azmaribet are like cabarets where singers, accompanied by massinko (kind of monochord violin) and kebero (percussion) players, carry on the Azmari tradition as they perform audacious vocal improvisations, rich in double-meaning: the famous sémmena-wèrq, national intellectual sport! So it is early on that the singer realised she had an "extra ordinary" voice. She was rapidly invited to perform on stage and in studios by several Ethiopian musicians, and then gradually pursued a solo career in azmaribet. Francis Falceto (director of the collection "Etiopics") fell for her charms and natural charisma when he first heard her unusual voice. He invited her to go on tours throughout Europe between 2000 and 2005. Although she wasn't brought up within an azmari family, she has found her place in that culture. It is likely to be one of the reasons why Francis Falceto asked the four members of The Tigre des Platanes to work with her. Indeed, he knows her open mindedness and her capacity to rise to the challenge of working on Ethiopian musics roughly arranged.

Mathieu trained in playing the guitar and is a self-taught sousaphonist. Nowadays he explores the possibilities of bass because acoustic bass is indeed a bit of both! He has played the sousaphone for many years, on stage and in the streets (?), in a de luxe band called La Friture Moderne. It is while playing with Le Tigre des Platanes -an impertinent quartet in which he plays acoustic bass- that he fell for the charming voice of Eténèsh Wassié. Together they toured many European music festivals. Mathieu has also been working with the storytellers Abakar Adam Abaye on "Sans Mentir", a show with voice, percussion & electric guitar, and with Didier Kovarsky on "Les Oiseaux", a twittering symposium for four musicians and stories. He has also collaborated with Benoit Bonnemaison-Fitte on an acoustic guitar solo performed alongside a projection of super eight pictures: La Maison Souris. He recently set up the project "Les Mamies Guitares" with Benoit Bonnemaison-Fitte and Gwladys Deprez to propose the discovery of music through guitar playing to those who have spent their life hearing (listening to?) but never practising this instrument.


BELO BELO (Buda Musique, December 2010)
Production Freddy Morezon’ p.r.o.d.
Recorded, mixed and produced by Olivier Cussac au Studio Condorcet, Toulouse
Assistant Michel Bonneval
Editing and distribution Buda Musique

Set List

1- Burtukan
2- Ende Matew Style
3- Ambassel
4- Gonder C'est Bon
5- Belo Belo
6- Ayluga
7- Zelessenia
9- Tezeta
10- Kassa Tezeta