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Archive for African

GHETTO BLASTER “Ghetto Blaster” (1985)

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Thanks to Jane Kramer for the tip about Ghetto Blaster.

Europeans, a collection of Kramer’s old New Yorker pieces, includes a fine essay about these Lagos scenesters who went to Paris and rode the mid-80s African music craze for a while but never quite made it to the Youssou N’Dour big time.

There is also a 12″ on Island I’d quite like to get my hands on…

OSCAR NEVES “N’zambi” (197?)

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Music from Lusophone Africa is pretty much unknown to me; other than a few stray tracks I’ve heard here and there I’m wholly ignorant.

Good thing for me that San Pasquale Entertainment has shared this criminally OOP comp of Angolan jams. It’s full of modest charmers like Oscar Neves’ “N’zambi”, which, between the table top percussion and the whistling in the fade-out, I’m totally digging.

From the Archives [sic]: TABU LEY ROCHEREAU “Haffi Deo” (1985)

Stop snitching

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One of my absolute favorite African jams ever, a real killer, posted at the old place back in June of ’08.

Shamelessly leeched (without attribution!) from the wizards at Dream Chimney, so let me now correct that discourtesy.

UPDATE: Uh, something happened between this morning and this evening, because when you go to Dream Chimney’s Track of the Day it says

Track of the Day was a site for promoting music (2000-2009)

Hopefully this is not for good. Those guys turned me on to a ton of great music…


Jonah Moyo

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Every time I think I’ve found the Zimbabwean track with the most insane guitar playing, along comes something else to prove me wrong. Viz, “Too Cheap”, which is all sweet vocals and super fast, crystal clear guitar. Not to be missed.

YOUSSOU N’DOUR & LE SUPER ETOILE “Immigres/Bitm Rew” (1984/1988)

Youssou talkin to me?

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In heavy rotation lately, what a killer. The break, with the hand claps and the talking drums, just knocks me out, and then the horns come sliding back in, so great.

PRINCESS BUMY OLAJUBU “Tell Me You’ve Come to Stay” (1983)

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Click cover to download

I was cruising through the archives of With Comb & Razor, and I came upon this little cut of lighter-than-air Afropop, a total prize. I understand her majesty’s Nigerian, and I’ve never heard music like this from there before. Definitely on the hunt for more….

Lately I’m either reposting content from myself or others, but I promise to be less lazy sometime, maybe soon.

THE TIMES “Lonely Man” (1990)

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Click cover to download

Incredible cut of late ’80s Afropop here, irresistible, a total winner. Plucked from Oldskool Jive, the best mix I’ve heard this year, posted by the outstanding Afro-Synth, a really exciting blog.

FRANCO & TPOK JAZZ “A.Z.D.A.” (1973)

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Click image to download

Probably my favorite Franco jam (well, maybe not…) on account of his incredible guitar playing.

I had long assumed that this song was about the youth wing of Mobuto Sese Seko’s party or something but it turns that AZDA was a chain of Volkswagen dealerships in Zaire, which is way more awesome.

But seriously, the jamming on here, especially in the last minute, is nuts.

THE VERY BEST “Warm Heart of Africa” (2009)

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Click to download

Esau Mwamwaya’s rework of “Paper Planes” was far and away the best of the thousands of versions churned out in Fall ’07, and I’ve been digging other cuts for some time now.

The Very Best is his collaboration with the similarly excellent Radioclit; an album is dropping in September. A small taste of what’s to come popped up on the Net this morning. The good news is that it rules (the presence of what’shisname from Vampire Weekend is not a fatal flaw). Excellent choice in source material too…

UPDATE: I’m really digging the Architecture in Helsinki remix just posted on Discobelle.


Click to download

Click to download

Mapfumo’s guitar sound is completely perfect.

Chimurenga might be my favorite African genre; practically every song is a gem