Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Orchestre Kiam

Face A

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Yemane Ghebremichael — Vol. 2

Side A
Track 1 
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4

Side B
Track 5
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8

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

Side A
Msifungiwe Nira  
Dunia Inapita
Mwana Mpotevu
Hakuna Wokovu
Haya Shime
Bwana Asema

Side B
Imba Imba
Jipe Moyo Mkuu
Kazi Yake
Ni Nani
Ni Kweli
Bwana Wangu

*—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.

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