Friday, June 30, 2006

Reality stealing

Ikenga Super Stars of Africa
Greedy Man (LP; Rogers All Stars ASALPS 9 & Decca [France] 278.155)
[A] Greedy Man / Ojele Woman / Your Thing
[B] Nwannemu Oho / Soffrey Soffry Catch Monkey

A reality stealing bootlegger recently stole the Ikenga Super Stars LP Greedy Man and reissued it with a new fictional identity. Here are the details. Even our good man Gilles Peterson and others in the DJ community were caught. I wouldn't be surprised if it originated from a DJ who decided to print up 500 copies. Any more information appreciated.

Ka-La-Ka Afro Beat Band
Soul Ethiopia (LP; La Voix De L'Ethiopie [Paris] LVE-G7598001)
[A] No More Colonial Greediness / Belle Femme d'Afrique Noire / Every Do It Your Own Way
[B] Le Baiser De l'Elephant / No I'm Not A Monkey / Soul Ethiopia

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gilles Peterson in Brazil

I got so frustrated trying to download the Gilles Peterson podcasts from the Brahma beer site that I have uploaded them to a more sensible server. If you don't know who Mr Peterson is I suggest a quick look here. Gilles Peterson is an influential DJ and record-label owner from London, UK. Through his labels Acid Jazz and Talkin' Loud he has been associated with the careers of countless well-known artists of the 1990s. He is also well known as a radio DJ: he used to have a radio show on London's Kiss FM dance music station, but was recruited to the BBC's youth-oriented Radio 1 in 1998. Peterson is known for his eclectic musical selections. Though not as "anything goes" as the late John Peel, he plays anything from dub and reggae through jazz, nu-jazz, soul, neo soul, R&B to drum and bass, house, broken beat, hip-hop and Jazz-funk. Widely acclaimed as a musical tastemaker, spreading his influence on music listeners around the world mostly through his Worldwide radio show, on BBC Radio 1 which is also broadcast live from the Radio 1 website, and frequent gigs around the world. He has recently started a new record label called Brownswood - named after the house he had to move out of after his record collection became too big, and which now acts as a warehouse for his enormous collection of vinyl.

Whilst in London during the eighties I went to a few sessions on Monday night at the Wag where he was DJing with the likes of Patrick Forge and Baz Fe Jaz. Then later on in the nineties when he started the label Talkin' Loud it was his compilations Brazilica and Blue Brazil (for Blue Note with Joe Davis) that I really loved. For the London label Ether he has put together two Brazilian compilations focusing on both old and new styles. All of these are highly recommended although you may also want to explore the compilations done by Joe Davis, DJ Cliffy, Patrick Forge and the good folks at Strut (before they folded).

Article on Joe Davis here.

More of the podcasts from the corporate sponsors soon...

GP in Brazil 1 - Rio and Baile Funk
GP in Brazil 2 - Roots and Samba

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

African Serenades 29

Compiler Cheeku Bidani has been digging in his crates and has pulled together an impressive set of tunes with a distrinctly Central African feel for this volume of the African Serenades series. Listen to the rumba/funk of Tabu Ley from DRC, to the wonderful Ernesto Dje Dje from Ivory Coast and to the incredible track from Orchestre GO Malebo. The Ramogi singles were produced at the Melodica record store in Nairobi in 1975 - the same store that helped Duncan Brooker with tracks that made up his Afro-Rock CD on Kona a few years back. Pick this up quick as I will delete the file in five days.

1. Pole Musa - Daudi Kabaka (from LP "The Very Best of Daudi Kabaka")
2. Nazangui Muana - Franco Et Ok-jazz (from LP "Hit Parade Africain Volume 1")
3. Ngalula Marthe - Orchestre Elegance Jazz (from LP "African - 360.050 - L'Afrique danse")
4. Mosasa Ndembo - Orchestre Les Noirs( from LP "PATHE MARCONI -Hit Parade Africain Vol 3")
5. Afrisa L'international - Tabu Ley Rochereau (from LP "African 360.046")
6. Faux Marie – L’Orchestre Tele-Music (from LP "L'ORCHESTRE TELE-MUSIC DE BRAZZAVILLE")
7. Baluti (B side) - Orchestre Veve (from 7" African 91355)
8. Azonade -Ernesto Djedje (from LP "Le Roi du Ziglibithy")
9. Likambo Ya Supa - Orchestre G.O. Malebo (from CD ZAIRO CONGOLAIS 1968/1976)
10. Affline the Pretty - George Ramogi (from 7")
11. John Abila - George Ramogi and CK Jazz (7" single from the Sulwe Label)
12. Expo '70 Pt. 2. - Mbaraka Mwinshehe (from LP "Ukumbusho volume 7")
13. Kenge n.3 - Orchestre TP Zembe Zembe (from LP "African - 360.050 - L'Afrique danse")

Enjoy and give what you can...

AS29 - Download ZIP folder

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shauri Yako

Shauri Yako (Its Your Problem/Matter/Affair) is the title of a massive hit of the early eighties in Central and East Africa. The original version was recorded by Nguashi N'Timbo and L'Orchestre Festival du Zaire. Nguashi moved to Nairobi following a number of other Zairian bands looking for work due to an abundance of bands (and a lack of work) in Zaire. These bands, Orchestra Super Mazembe, Orchestra Makassy, Orchestra Super Matimila, Orchestra Marquis Original and many others, adapted to the club scenes in Nairobi, Kampala and dar Es Salaam and picked up a large following. The music of these bands took a new direction and picked up currents from Benga guitarists, Taraab vocalists and other local styles. Shauri Yako was also covered by Orchestra Super Mazembe and Mbilia Bel.

One version of the song that I am not able to provide today is the one I requested of the Lubambashi All Stars during their tennancy at the Quirinale Hotel, Hillbrow, Johannesburg during 1991-92. The song is guaranteed to numb your heat and soul into a trance whilst dancing away in the African night. It also packs the dancefloor everywhere I've played it.

And here courtesy of Steve Mugiri, who has an excellent blog are the lyrics of this classic (thanks also to Zim Bida!)

Orchestra Super Mazembe - Shauri Yako
This music is poetry so a lot is lost in translation. If I were a poet, I might be able to do something that begins to do justice to the lyrics in this but sadly, all I can do is do a literal translation. "Shauri yako" here translates to a combination of "its your problem/issue, deal with it" and "good riddance", in the translation, I will just put "its your problem". As with all good rumba, the song has a great story which boils down to a man who is telling his lady/(wife? named Zena Fatou) that if she cannot accept him as he is then, poor and unable to keep her in the sytle that she expects then its time to head for the hills and be gone. I need to point out that the pronunciation is a little different from the Swahili pronunciation that I am used to, this is usually an issue with Kenyan vs. Tanzanian usage: the words are the same but the pronunciation (and in some minor cases, word usage) is different. An analogy is British vs. American English. Thanks to this, I might have gotten some (minor) details wrong.

Nilikueleza hata mama, (How do I explain this to you my lady)
Fatou, wangu mama (*2 Fatou, my lady)
Mapenzie ya kwetu (This love of ours)
haita tawi hata mama (*2 will not survive much longer my lady)
Tabia yako na yangu (Your character and mine)
haisikilizani (*2 do not 'listen' to each other (or, alternatively, "are incompatible"))
Unaona (You need to understand)
unaona sasa we mama (you need to understand My lady)
Unapenda kuvaa (You like to dress well)
Mimi sina namna Fatou we (I have no way to support that)
Unapenda kula vizuri (You like to dine well)
Mimi sina pesa oh Fatou we (I have no money oh Fatou)
Nipe mali (Borrowing money)
Sizoe (I do not want to become a regular at this)
Niuwe mutu (Kill someone)
Nipate dawa ya feza (So that I can find a way to wealth)
Niuwe mutu (Kill someone)
Watanifunga (the man will surely lock me up)
Niuwe mutu (Kill someone)
Thambi kwa Mungu Baba (That is a sin aganist the Lord God)
Kama hunipendi we (If you do not love me as I am then)
Uende lote mama (Be completely gone my lady)
--- *2
Shauri yako *4 (Its your problem *4)
Shauri yako (Its your problem)
Wende lote Zena wangu (Be completely gone my Zena)
Siwezi kuua mutu mama (I cannot kill a soul my lady)
Thambi kwa Mungu Baba (Thats a sin aganist the Lord God)
Wende zote Zena wangu (Be completely gone my Zena)
Niibe mali (If I steal)
Watanifunga (the man will surely lock me up)
Niuwe mutu (Kill someone)
Thambi kwa Mungu Baba (Thats a sin aganist the Lord God)
Kama hunipendi we (If you do not love me as I am then)
Uende lote mama (Be completely gone my lady)
--- *2
Kama hunipendi bibi yangu (If you do not love me my wife)
urudi kwenu mama (Go back to your family my lady)
Kama hunipendi (If you do not love me)
uniwache yangu (Leave me and mine)
Kama hunipendi (If you do not love me)
Sheri Mama wende lote (Sheri my lady be gone)
Ohhh wende lote mama *4 (Ohhh,my lady be gone)
Ohhh Zena wangu (Ohhh my Zena)
Uende lote mama *8 (Be completely gone my lady *8)
Zena wangu (My Zena)
Mtoto wa kwetu (Child of ours)

Ntimbo: Listen
Mazembe - Listen

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

African Serenades 28

A big big thank-you to Cheeku to contributing this mix to the African Serenades series. Similar in many ways to number 13 in the series this one carries a lot of funk-influenced tunes, including some rare gems.

01. The Apostles - Black is Beautiful
02. The Nkengas - Nkenga Special
03. Bokoor Band - Onukpa Shawerpo
04. Ebo Taylor - Heaven
05. George Danquan - Just a Moment
06. Nkengas - Jungle Funk
07. E. T. Mensah & His Tempos Band - Save Me
08. C.K. Mann - Fa Wakoma Ma Me
09. Gnonnas Pedro - La Musica en Verite
10. Kelenkye Band - Jungle Music
11. Assagai - Cocoa
12. Dr. Victor Olaiya - Omelebele
13. Mulatu Astatke - Asiyo Belema
14. Ali & Tam's avec L'Orchestre Malo - Mulogi
15. Tunde Williams - The Beginning


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

50 Years of TPOK Jazz

June 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of TPOK Jazz and to mark the event I have a wonderful clip of Franco playing guitar and singing Kinshasa Mokambo. He left a legacy of more than 150 LPs and was taken from us by illness at the age of fifty one. "I am the only African musician to have lived out my career for thirty years without ever leaving the orchestra that I created or the style that was the trademark of the group. I am proud and I thank the Lord for having given me such a full life" he declared.


Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup Fever

A treat from the archives of TeleZaire and linked by adoyo at African Ambiance forum. It features Trio Madjesi back in 1973 kitted out in Zairian football strip singing "Sex Madjesi". Here's some background on the band courtesy of Frank Bessem's
Musiques d'Afrique

Trio Madjesi was for a few years the hottest act in Zaire of the early 1970s. Madjesi, a composition of Mario Matadidi Mabele, Loko Massengo "Djeskain" and Saak "Sinatra" Sakoul, the three prominent members of the band, made a joyful mix of Zairean music and soul music in the style of the then so popular James Brown. Their costumes and appearance were James Brown-inspired and their lyrics and overall approach full of humour. Their song « Sex Madjesi », on the album « Trio Madjesi volume 1 » renamed in « Sosoliso na Sosoliso », is an excellent example of their style, with that rolling rhythm lead by the guitars, with James Brown inspired licks.

The individual members of the trio had earned their fame in other bands. Marcel Loko Massengo's career began in Jamel National, and continued through Négro Succès, Vox Africa and Orchestre Vévé. The other two members, Mario Mabele and Saak Sakoul (also written as Saak Saakul) equally left Orchestre Vévé to form Trio Madjesi. After the first years of success throughout Africa, their fame faded. There were some attempts to continue the saga, but without great success. Between 1978 and 1980, Loko Massengo was part of a trio Les Trois Frères, together with Youlou Mabiala and Boyibanda. After departure of Mabiala, he made an album with Boyibanda « Michel Boyibanda & Loko Massengo avec L'International Orchestre Rumbaya ». In recent years, Djeskain has participated in the rumba revival band Kékélé.

Trio Madjesi's song « 8me round » about a match of boxing legend Mohammed Ali in Kinshasa can be found on the compilation CD « Hits & Misses-Muhammad Ali And The Ultimate Sound », issued by Trikont in 2003.

Although Zaire were the only African nation to qualify for the tournament they did not make it through to the knock-out stages. My hope is with Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to change this this time around.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

African Serenades

A big treat for all you Matsuli readers. Two killer compilations of mostly vinyl only African tracks. The African Serenades series was inspired by fellow posters at the Blood and Fire forum and now mostly at DJ Greedy G's If you scratch around you'll discover Jamaican Serenades, Soul Serenades, International Serenades and many other wonderfully compiled mostly vinyl only compilations from the deep collections of serious collectors and music enthusiasts. The two compilations today were compiled by myself from a collector in Austria. Other volumes in the series have come from Australia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. So hit me with music - when it hits you feel no pain....

Vol 26
Wethe- Ouza (Wethe)
Djaraama - Guelewar Band Of Banjul (Tasito)
"Foudou" !?! - Sandaly Kante et Nmawa Kante et Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux
Alah Li Alah Di- Sandaly Kante et Nmawa Kante et Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux
Biantondi Kasanda -Docteur Nico & Orchestre African Fiesta (L'Afrique Danse No 8)
Belle Belle- Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou (Zero + Zero = Zero)
Allons a La Campagne- Sam Mangwana (Vamos Para O Campo)
Maloba D'Amour - Orchestra Super Mazembe (Greatest Hits)
Kokaba Ya Sens Unique - Orchestre Bantous de la Capital(Special 20e Anniversaire)
Steady and Slow - Sonny Okosun (Fire In Soweto)
Adin Gbanzon -Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou (Zero + Zero = Zero)
African Serenades 26 - Zip Folder

Vol 27
Egungun Riots 1976 - Femi Akinyemi's Juju Lucky Stars (Egungun Riots 1976)
Migoussia - Amadou Balaké (Taximen)
Ndiambane - Orchestra Baobab (Si Bou Odja)
Senegal 80 - Ouza (Wethe)
Oghe - Talents of Benin led by Idemudia Cole (Talents of Benin Vol 5)
Yo-Pop Music - Segun Adewale and His Superstars International (Play For Me)
Picnic Ya Volcano - Mbaraka Mwinshehe (Ukumbusho Volume 7)
Kouriya - Cheikh M. Smith ( Toubabou Balafola - The Man Who Plays The White Man's Balafon)
African Serenades 27 - Zip Folder

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sweet Mother

A rather belated mothers day type post with the band Soulfège and their video for the dancehall remake of the West African classic anthem, Sweet Mother.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Words of Love

We're back in East Africa this week with one of my favourite bands, Orchestra Super Mazembe. My introduction to them was with the Virgin release Kaivasha (check this feature and download the LP here) in 1982. Along with Samba Mapangala's "Its Disco Time" and Orchestra Makassy's Agwaya these discs continue to occupy a special place in my collection. In 1990 I picked up a white label promo from Discafrique entitled "Maloba D'Amor". I've reproduced the notes below. After this LP I found a greatest hits LP in Zimbabwe and later got a double LP of their hits called Gold. Trevor Herman at Sterns was behind the more recent CD retrospective The Giants of East Africa (buy here) but unfortunately the killer tune Words of Love/Maloba D'Amor was missing. So here it is along with Buddy Holly's original and the Beatles version. More from East Africa soon. Enjoy.

ARTIST: Orchestra Super Mazembe
TITLE: Maloba D'Amor
LABEL; Discafrique
One of the tope bands in Kenya. A brief excursion on Virgin with re-recorded and shortened versions of some of their classic tracks failed to set the world on fire. All the tracks on this album are the classic full length versions. Although this LP is in many ways a retrospective the sheer vitality and musicianship are as fresh and danceable as anything you'll hear this year (ref: African Dance). Current status of the band is confused to say the least, but they were a great band once.

More on Mazembe from Calabash

Listen - Buddy Holly: Words of Love [MP3]

Listen - Beatles: Words of Love[MP3]

Listen - Orchestra Super Mazembe: Maloba D'Amor[MP4]