Thursday, February 06, 2014
Moroccan musique Souss disco dreams for days. Vintage songs by a recognized diva of Amazigh song styles of the Souss region. Lots to be joyful for here, so intense, long tunes full of tension and brilliant harmonic trademarks that might get stuck in your head if you don't pass out from ecstatic dancing first.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
This cassette = all superior everything. Wassoulou rhythms fly by thusly: confident female vocalist Sidibe leads kamelngoni and flute on a call-and-response-fueled country drive. Oh and best supporting actor goes to the pure-toned guitar poking its head out at crucial moments. I am finding recording this nonstop awesome, keeping it on repeat for the past two days. Doubtless worth a 30-minute pause in whatever you're doing today.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey & His International Brothers — A Christmas Special By The King of Juju
Irinse Lojona Obey O Jona
Ile Oba To Jo
Ka So Wo Po
Oro Obi Pelu Iyawo
Oro Oko Pelu Obi
Happy holidays y'all. My best good homie Seb from Brussels (part of the wonderful Rebel Up! outfit)) blessed this xmas eve with a crucial Nigerian juju Christmas-themed tape by an Awesome Tapes From Africa favorite guy, check out his description:
Ho Ho Ho! Christmas, Nigerian juju style by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey & His International Brothers: A Christmas Special By The King of Juju! Since the 50's Ebenezer Obey had been crafting his special juju-highlife sound, which is a mix of Yoruba percussion, talking drums, electric guitars and vocals in Yoruba. Later in his life he only started playing Christian gospel music (a fate which many Nigerian musicians seems to befall from a certain age onwards) and he passed away in 2011 in Lagos university hospital at the age of 67.
This tape was recorded sometime in the 60's with his then-band International Brothers. It was a golden find in one of the many Nigerian stalls around London's Brixton market last spring. Both sides are filled with heavenly sweet jangling guitars, muffled percussion, talking drums and festive Yoruba singing, with some surprise Christmas melodies played as one continuous medley in lo-fi tropical spheres. As the title already said, the chief was the self-proclaimed king of juju and we can only bow down to his legacy. Listen to these funky Christmas waves and have a great one!
Monday, December 09, 2013
Boureima Disco et le Super Bonkaney
Zarma-language music from Niger with that tell-tale melodic shape and Sahelian rhythmic lilt plus, crucially, additional left-field electronic quirks. Let it set you on a specific kind of new path to polyrhythmic greatness. Long workouts layering ostinatos, what I adore about Tendé music. Give me more. The mystery track is next level. Here's more info on this tape.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Mama Yergue Barry
Djama Guinee Dyente Mama Barry
Attye Guere Ka Leydi Man
Ko Neebhwo Gidho Nafai
Wa Neene Alaa/Haaianan Ko Faaladha
Don't fuck with a blind Fulani griot and his calabash. In addition to the crippling effects of this spider-like dextrous gourd snapping, this recording slaps the listen around with spare and fiery flute playing—some tastes and flavors espoused by the traditionally itinerant Peul people, the ones around the Fouta-Djalon region of Guinea. More on that huge musical topic here, thanks in part to the tireless work of Banning Eyre.
Monday, November 18, 2013
It's really pretty hard to find cassettes of Somali music. But there are a few in a collection I absorbed from a friend a while ago. Go deep with this live recording of Salaad Darbi in full band virtuosity and you will go away feeling happy. I don't have any info about this artist or recording right now. All I know about this tape is that the saxophones, strings, guitars, accordion and kaban (Somali oud) collide in a highly pleasing way. This is a really special and rare tape.
And since I am a lifelong Deadhead I love live tapes.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Saramba Kouyate — 56
So you're sitting home on a Friday night and you just want to kick it to some dynamic diva from Mali while she floats along a tinkly river of luminescence (a.k.a. gold medal griot accompaniment). Can't blame you for nurturing this sophisticated craving.
UPDATE tonight Friday November 8 is now at Body Actualized Center (http://bodyactualized.org
143 Troutman St, Brooklyn, NY 11206), come party with ATFA, serious dub vibes duo Blazer Sound System and special guest Addis Pablo.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Yilma Hailu — Tewahido
Not gonna lie. I am into music from Ethiopia/Eritrea in a major way. But even more so, I am getting obsessed with music of a spiritual nature. E.g., this Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mezmur recording is making me straight high. (I got this at an all-Christian music shop in Axum.)
Jumping off point alert: Barcelona's Rádio Web MACBA asked for a podcast so I dug through my tapes and compiled some of my favorite songs of the religious persuasion. Listen and read here.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Seleshe Damessae — Vol. 1
Aya Ho Ho
Oh, how I love the sound of the krar. The ancient instrument scales pentatonic heights in the attics of my mind. So simple yet so jarringly complex.
If you like this tape, buy Damessae's incredible record that's been ringing in my ears for years now.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Announcing Penny Penny "Shaka Bundu" (ATFA008), Out November 12
Those of you who've been following Awesome Tapes From Africa the blog and/or DJ sets might be aware of my nagging obsession with South African singer and mid-school Tsonga disco [Shangaan disco] superstar Penny Penny. Thanks to Wills and Tshepong, longtime friends who hooked me up with his classic debut tape from 1994, I have been listening to and loving this recording for years now.
It took a bit of time to track down the busy politician, humanitarian and stadium-filling musician, but with the help and encouragement from Penny and his brilliant producer Joe Shirimani (who is a huge deal himself in the Tsonga music world), Shaka Bundu will be coming out on Awesome Tapes From Africa on November 12 worldwide on LP/CD/MP3/C60.
Do a little dance to the first single from this groundbreaking and inspiring piece of post-Apartheid South Africa pop history.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Racine Sall — Wale Niouma Don
Sometimes a solo vocalist on some pious recitation vibe is all you need with a little keyboard. Against a stark background of brittle synth wafting about. This Racine Sall tape from Mali makes a curious departure from his less bonkers/less outsider-sounding Islamic vocal work with more acoustic instrumentation, on these astounding little numbers here and here.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Yemane Ghebremichael — Vol. 2
This 1992 recording (1986 in Ethiopian calendar) is an awesome tape. I've had a YouTube crush on the music of Eritrean legend Yemane G/Michael (aka Yemane Baria, Yemane Barya, etc) for a while and this mostly-acoustic recording is completely bringing me back to a recent trip to Tigray, Ethiopia. The region neighbors Eritrea, and shares a language and musical vibe. I dug this tape up from deep in the stash months ago but didn't really get into it until now. Pentatonic strings and keyboard join the vocal melodies, dancing up and down in a lovely lilt. Amidst the quintessential [ka-dunk] rhythm that is characteristic of a lot of Tigrinya folk music I heard around the Eritrean border, this tape stands out: minimally arranged, urgent, beautiful.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I was recently asked to take down these links because these guys are planning to release the record here.
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
Kwaya Ya Patandi — Msifungiwe Nira Vol 3
Jipe Moyo Mkuu
*—There was an extra song at the end (I think)
As the overall vibe of their music videos attests, Kwaya Ya Patandi are a dead serious gospel choir bursting with joy and spirit. There's a relaxing lilt to all this, despite the sterile effect of what sounds like an old Thomas church organ jamming out those hallow beats and majestic harmonies.
Tanzania's gospel scene is large and varied. This group from Arusha represents one regional approach to perhaps the most malleable musical forms out there. Taarab gospel, gospel reggae, soukous gospel, etc. It's all been happening for a long time and represents a huge part of the music industry in many places.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Sudanese tape I bought in Ethiopia recently is really hitting me hard this week. There's an excellent confluence of things happening on this recording that I am just so into right now: heartfelt tenor vocals; expected Sudanese popular song horn/string stabs; unexpected rhythmic breakdowns and melodic twists. I don't have any info about this artist. Google deepened the mystery, offering suggestions like "weird al bakery." So, I guess, just enjoy for now.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Simon's Slow Music from Africa Vol. 2 mixtape
At long last, for the true heads who've been following Awesome Tapes From Africa for years now. One of my closest homies in the music/life continuum, Simon, has returned with a new mix of personal classics on vinyl. Without further ado, Simon's Slow Music from Africa mixtape Vol 2.
Lord's Special - Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe - Nigeria
La Guinée-Wodi - Orchestre de Kindia (Dirou Band) - Guinea
Yatouloveras - UCAS Band de Sedhiou - Senegal
Teranga - Ouza et Teranga International Band - Senegal
Feresirima - Peacocks International Guitar Band − Nigeria
Na - Djorçon - Guinea-Bissau
Duga - Orchestre Rail Band - Mali
Sigala - Magatte N'diaye with Star Band de Dakar - Senegal
Touraman - Horoya Band National - Guinea
Sali - Amadou Ballake Traore - Burkina Faso
Ma Penda - Orchestre Bawobab Gouye-Gui de Dakar - Senegal
Footaane - Etoile de Dakar - Senegal
Douga - Quintette Guinéenne - Guinea
Ife Uwa Adi Agwuagwu - Celestine Ukwu - Nigeria
Danaya - Nahawa Doumbia - Mali
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Tondjon — Niyak3
Les Droit Des Enfants
Rap from Mali. Deal with it. I think "tondjon" means "slaves" in Bambara.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument
The next Awesome Tapes From Africa LP release is by Hailu Mergia, the Ethiopian one-man-band accordion/keyboardist extraordinaire. Hailu made his name in Walias Band and later went on to do some visionary solo recordings. Hailu Mergia's beautiful and surprising 1985 foray into traditional Ethiopian songs via analog synth, electric piano and accordion has been remastered and will be available June 25 on LP/CD/MP3/C60.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Massinko—DJ Mengie (NYC) & DJ XL Yafet
OK here's something you don't hear every day. In Bahar Dar I came across this NYC house-meets-Ethiopian traditional music cassette. I had to buy two copies, this one was so surprising. Blessed with Amharic club diva vocals, masinko riffs and an excellent I-don't-give-a-fuck creative swagger, this is one of those unique recordings that keeps me interested in this Awesome Tapes From Africa project.
If you're like me and you still cherish your 90s drum n bass/jungle mixtapes and/or you ever went to a rave back in the day, this tape might be extra compelling.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Groupe El Badil—Cassette 3
Islamic chants as a vehicle for a varied and compelling array of rhythmic directions. Every song is different. I dance to the electronic super-charged second-cousin of drum n bass joints, I sway to the more acoustic, chorus-focused songs. I am going to be listening to a lot of this.
Groupe El Badil have some recordings available.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tafese Tesfaye—1989 Zemana Getem Derasi
In observance of Great Lent, here is begena (bass lyre, King David's harp) music from an Ethiopian Orthodox monk, circa 1996 (1989 according to the Ethiopia calendar). Contemplate your sinning ways and get with the minimally stark low-end rumble of this ancient instrument.
BTW—Dur-Dur Band Volume 5 (ATFA004) comes out next week, March 19, on LP, CD, MP3 and limited edition cassette. Get yours here.
ALSO—Go deep into Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean music videos and Ghanaian TV sit-com, Nigerian cinema, tons of African TV advertisements and more at ATFA-curated weekend of YouTube videos on Network Awesome.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Kompilation Moytoul—Hip Hop contre le Sida
Mariano (Bibson / Maxi Krazy)
Xolu Chando (Gaston / Bouks)
Yaye Balma (Billy Joe / KT)
Xippi te Xoi (Laye B)
Nit Ki (Big D / Fatim / Pacotille)
Year 2000 Senegal rap-ragga-dancehall all-star compilation to raise awareness about AIDS.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Madiodio Gning—Sultanu Arifine
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Rap Guinéen Remix
Rap Guineé from the early aughties, chock full of traditional instruments and new-jack hustlin. Feeling this.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Chief (Dr.) Sikiru Ayinde Barrister—Fuji Explosion
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and his Nigerian Sound Makers International—People's Club of Nigeria Special
People's Club of Nigeria Part One
People's Club of Nigeria Part Two
This is some classic shit from a classic personage of Nigerian highlife excellence. Take two of these and call me in the morning.
Also, feel free to download and vibe to this track from the upcoming ATFA release by Dur-Dur Band (coming March 19 in all formats on all continents).:
Friday, January 04, 2013
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Blind Musical Flames—Flames Morale
Positive greetings from essential Sierra Leonean sight-impaired super-group Blind Musical Flames. Welcome to 2013. We're starting light for now here at Awesome Tapes From Africa, deeper heavies to come. Hope you like simple pleasures, some dancing and a little bit of reggae.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Eli Ikwerre Marunma
Mind Your Way
Eli Rumuji Wegbom
Jump for joy to Nigerian praise singing and traditional drumming, spinning in hypnotizing cycles. I'm actually feeling dizzy. Despite the balance of lilty harmony and aggressive pulsing, this tape, produced outside Port Harcourt, takes me want a siesta.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Very excited to announce the next Awesome Tapes From Africa release. Dur-Dur Band Volume 5 comes out March 19
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Mamadou Camara dit Bikadi—Sognina
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Kouchouam Mbada—Swèga Menzui
Ton Ngoùla (Jolie Jolie)
These cyclical ruminations surely spell elation for many a Cameroonian social function.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Finekeba Fali Camara—Raconte la Vie de Madou Hakilidouman de Fana Vol. 1
Vibe to griot tales from Mali today. The excellent instrumental and vocal accompaniment to this makes for a deep chill-out record. Settle in for the long haul. Ah, the life of Mr. Madou Hakilidouman. He apparently hails from Fana,which lies in a particularly culturally fertile part of Mali. Let that subtle, on-point guitar/n'goni work sneak up on you and feel thankful this gem made it to magnetized polyester.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Conakry By Night
Bee Labe Labe
*—Super warbly tape alert. Apologies for the awesome, nearly unlistenable effect.
Rap from Guinea, steeped in that quintessential urban West African stew of hip-hop, soul, dancehall and traditional rhythms and sounds (FAC Alliance lists Fulani, Susu and Mandinka inspiration on their website). There might be a touch too much reggae at times for me but I'm captivated by the overall vibe Nondi K, Pap G and Mista X are repping here. Frank Bessem's great encyclopedia has some more background here.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Thanks to my pal Patrick Seabase—celebrated fixed gear bike athlete—for this cassette from Eritrea, which he picked up while filming Asmawa, a documentary about a beautiful and challenging bike trip down there. This is a highly addictive take on Eritrean Tigrinya-language Bahlawi music. Legit modern sounds culled from relatively ancient means. Patrick says he heard this tape over and over again while traveling in Eritrea. I have been playing it on repeat myself and I am thoroughly obsessed.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
National Youth Choir of Namibia—Namibian Images & Sound
Friday, August 31, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Jean Claude Bamogo—Panaki Panazoe Mix 2
Mam Nonga Foo
Panaki panazoe *
Here is a late period album of intricately rendered dance jams and low-key phone-ins from Burkina Faso's Jean Claude Bamogo (who was in old school awesome band l'Orchestra Super Volta). It is what it is, even legends don't make 100% perfect tapes. The good tracks are really good.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Monday, August 06, 2012
General Kollington Ayinla & His African Fuji Eaglets Lakukulala
Tiwa Laye Nfe
Olorun Lo Jona Mo'le
Tiwon Oto, Tolorun Oto
Bi General Gborin Tuntun De
Karaye Ma Se Damu Awa
The Late Journalists
Alh. Sulaimon Oyegbemi
I can't get enough Nigerian fuji music these days. Here is a particularly deep one from a king among men. 1991 wishes you a blessed day.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Yedenou Adjahoui et son Groupe Folklorique d'Avarankou R.P. Benin
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Gyedu Blay Ambolley and the Steneboofs—Simigwa Soca
Bend Down Low
Ehuruw A Whewhe Beebi Koto
Somewhat rare version of this late-era recording by the Ghanaian hiplife originator/highlife innovator Gyedu Blay Ambolley. His 1975 lp Simigwa is a collectors' fave. He is still around playing shows, worth checking out.
RIP to Ghana's President Atta Mills.
Monday, July 09, 2012
This is an awesome tape from Morocco: passionate and virtuosic on a track to track basis. A slight to yodel in the voice when things get intense. Wall to wall nimble hands and fingers. Get in the zone with Lahbib Boutaxi. I recently did and I don't think I've been the same since.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Sandwidi Pierre—Vol. 3
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Who wants to hear an Amazigh futurist ensemble actively big-upping Souss region traditional rhythms (i.e. ahwach) while presenting their music in a context of more cosmopolitan practices? I do. These guys have been doing it for decades with much success. They have made many, many records. Bliss out to tracks 1, 3 and 4 right now.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Sawamites Lhmak Hmaki Avec El Miloudia
Obviously. More magic from Morocco.
Bola on tour in Europe coming up!:
July 27 / Basel CH // City Beach
July 28 / St. Gallen CH // Palace (+ SHANGAAN ELECTRO)
July 29 / Biesenthal DE // Sommerfest
August 1 / Berlin DE // Festsaal Kreuzberg (+ GROUP DOUEH)
August 2 / Berlin DE // Trickster
August 3 / Sejerø DK // Sejerø Festival
August 5 NL / Venlo // Zomerparkfeest
August 8 NO / Oslo // Øya Festival
August 9 SE / Stockholm // Trädgården
August 11 FI / Helsinki // Flow Festival
Monday, June 25, 2012
Ne Dona Bara Kola
Hard rockin' balafon (balani in Bambara) and serious talkin' echo-y vocal incantations for this rainy afternoon. Dude is named after his instrument (Seydou Koita aka Seydou Balani), this definitely isn't his first rodeo on this West African xylophone.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Berber singer Hadda Ouakki hails from the Middle Atlas region of Morocco and has a beautifully onomatopoetic name. I enjoy this recording from beginning to end, but the first track is super fun. Thanks to my special lady for scoring this recently in Chefchaouen.