Due to the overwhelming number of requests to repost the African Serenades compilations I have finally relented with the reposting of two sets that focus on East African rumba-inspired sounds. These are from Tim, who has recently established the incredible KenTanza web-site.
Here is Tim's original introduction to the compilations: "I taught near Eldoret for two years in the early 1980s, fell in love with the music and then found that my Zigzag-reading, album-sleeve-obsessive completist's mindset was completely turned upside down because, of course, none of the friends I made - and who guided me towards the records I have sent you - cared about who was responsible for that amazing guitar solo or impassioned vocal on individual songs. All they were concerned about was "Can you dance to it?" Which isn't a bad take on things when it comes
down to it."
"I was also a long way out in the sticks at Lelmokwo, a village with no electricity and one shop. The nearest bar, at Mutwot, entailed a five-mile walk each way and we rarely made it into Eldoret. When we did, the town's one nightclub, the Olympic, owned by Kipchoge Keino, favoured Western music, which inevitably meant Boney M, Abba and Motown. The one record stall was by the bus station and sold cigarettes and sweets as well as a few records.
"I saw a couple of bands while I was there, but both were strange occasions. Super Mazembe played at the Eldoret Agricultural Show, erecting a bamboo fence around the area where they were to play - no stage, just an awning - and charging 10KSh entrance. Since it was daytime, there was very little atmosphere and the impression was of a band just jamming and jamming, with a heavy rotation of players. Soe one who play drums for half an hour or so and then just get up wander off and someone else would take over.
"The other band I saw was the Maroon Commandos, who were much tighter and slicker and put on a show. Unfortunately, it was at a local army base, so the audience consisted of about 500 soldiers, a truckload of women, who had been rather reluctantly bused in from local bars, and me."
01. Tshiku Pt 1 - Orchestra Les Noirs
02. Tshiku Pt 2 - Orchestra Les Noirs
03. Pamela Pt 1 - Orchestra Les Wanyika
04. Pamela Pt 2 - Orchestra Les Wanyika
05. Virunga Pt 1 - Orchestra Virunga
06. Virunga Pt 2 - Orchestra Virunga
07. Na Bimaka Pt 1 - Orchestra Super Mazembe
08. Na Bimaka Pt 2 - Orchestra Super Mazembe
09. Koleta Pt 1 - Orchestra Super Volcano
10. Koleta Pt 2 - Orchestra Super Volcano
11. Fifi Pt 1 - Orchestra Shika Shika
12. Fifi Pt 2 - Orchestra Shika Shika
13. Joka Pt 1 - Mwenge Jazz Band
14. Joka Pt 2 - Mwenge Jazz Band
15. Akamba Pt 1 - Orchestra Viva Makele
16. Akamba Pt 2 - Orchestra Viva Makele
50 DOWNLOADs ONLY
01. Yo-Mabe Pt 1 - Orchestra Super Mazembe
02. Yo-Mabe Pt 2 - Orchestra Super Mazembe
03. Amua Pt 1 - Orchestra Les Mangelepa
04. Amua Pt 2 - Orchestra Les Mangelepa
05. Kajituliza Pt 1 - Orchestra Les Wanyika
06. Kajituliza Pt 2 - Orchestra Les Wanyika
07. Ole Ole Pt 1 - Orchestra Les Mangelepa
08. Ole Ole Pt 2 - Orchestra Les Mangelepa
09. Paulina Wanje Pt 1 - Butere Sharpshooters
10. Paulina Wanje Pt 2 - Butere Sharpshooters
11. Celibataire Pt 1 - Orchestra Baba National
12. Celibataire Pt 2 - Orchestra Baba National
13. Shika Shika Pt 1 - Orchestra Shika Shika
14. Shika Shika Pt 2 - Orchestra Shika Shika
15. Mokili Pt 1 - Orchestra Mos Mos
16. Mokili Pt 2 - Orchestra Mos Mos
50 DOWNLOADs ONLY