Saturday, October 20, 2007


Ata Kak—Obaa Sima

Side A
Obaa Sima
Moma Yendodo

Side B
Daa Nyinaa
Yemmpa Aba
Bome Nnwom

By popular demand, here it is. These are mostly love songs, by the way (as if you couldn't tell).

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Esther Smith—Gye No Di

Side A
Yesu Kristo Asore*
Adze Ko*
Ma Wo Nsa So
Gye No*

Side B
Gye No Di (Sharp One)
Befa W'asem Siesie Me
Agidifour Ataban*
Gye No Di*

*choice cuts

It was only a matter of time before we delved into the most important force in the Ghanaian music industry: gospel music. The scene is just too big to ignore. In Ghana, gospel music comes in all shapes and sizes, from the local church's traditional drum and vocals recordings (see prior post) to reggae-and-hiplife-infused blockbusters, like Esther Smith's Gye No Di, which are mass produced and aggressively marketed via radio, tv, internet and trucks-covered-in-posters-and-bullhorns-blasting-the-record campaigns.

There could not have been a bigger album than Gye No Di during my first visit to Ghana in 2002. Pretty much every song on the tape was a hit, played literally tens of times a day by gospel and mainstream radio stations nationwide. I recall waking up each morning to my home-stay sister Nana Akua blasting track 4 on repeat, from like 6am until she left the house an hour or two later. I hated it at first but it now confirms for me the sublime and hidden genius behind many of the commercial gospel productions in Ghana's top 40 music realm.

Love to hear such sick bass and dreamy keyboard tones amongst all this inspiring talk of faith in Jesus. Acapella breakdowns and sheeny soloist wails from what sounds like it must be a keytar enhance some of the strongest tracks, marked by an asterisk above. This record is just the tip of an enormous iceberg of pop-laden spiritual music that sells more than hiplife and highlife combined in some cases.

Oh and while you're at it, you should probably check out this Esther Smith music video, it's kind of amazing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Awesome Tapes from Africa visits DJ /rupture

DJ /rupture has so kindly invited me to co-host his WFMU radio show, Mudd Up! this Wednesday October 17 at 7pm EST. It'll be an hour of awesome tapes from africa and a bit of discussion. I'll be playing lots of music which has yet to make it on the blog, along with some catalog favorites.

Here's the playlist from that show:

artist song album country

Wakimbizi “Mika Kumi” Raha Kenya
Reggie Rockstone “Keep Your Eyes on the Road” Me Na Me Kae Ghana
Volcan “C Urgent” Vrai 2 Vrai Burkina Faso
Kontihene “Asesa” Nyankonton Ghana
Tic Tac “Philomena” Philomena Ghana
Tuba Clan “Jama” Dakoli Ghana
Nahawa Doumbia “Djankonia” Best of Nahawa Doumbia Mali
Masekela introducing Hedzoleh Soundz “Kaa Ye Ota” Rekpete South Africa/Ghana
Ensemble Traditional National du Mali “Aw Bissimlai” Musolu Mali
Prince Okla “Paa Dede” 2001 Dagbani Mega Mix 1 Ghana
Abu Sadic “Anti Bon Shei” Na Ni Goo Ghana
Awa Poulo “Abs” Awa Poulo Mali
Kouyate Sory Kandia “N’na” Kouyate Sory Kandia Guinea

See rupture's blog mudd up!, one of the most thoughtful and informative sites I've seen. Big ups.

Listen to Mudd Up! with DJ /rupture

Also, read his fantastic essay on Muslimgauze in Bidoun magazine.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Boubacar Traore

Face A

Face B
Khobe Natouma

This might just be the best of all the awesome tapes from Africa I've heard thus far.

The film about Mali's Boubacar Traore, I'll Sing For You, is incredibly beautiful, as are these and other Boubacar Traore recordings. Go see him perform live if you can.

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