Sep 12, 2007

Sunshine, Central Africa

Sunshine from Central Africa this time, quiet a mixed bag , unfortunately my (once very expensive) cassetteplayer gave the ghost a decade ago rendering my cassette collection of African music useless. To be honest i had lost touch with the african music this last decade aswell. Seen in that light, in preparing these 3 african posts i get to reconnect and must say very much enjoy it. Hypnotic Soukous and Hi-Life of Kanda Bongo Man, Franco and Tshibayi the incredible “Afrocyberdelics” of Konono no 1 and to contrast that the Dark City Sisters And Flyin' Jazz Queens from South Africa. To give some morecredit to this musical heartland 4 compilation cdees, a techy mixed one, cd 1 destilled from a great BBC TV series about African music, a collection of afro pop and to top them all a fieldrecording ethnomusicologist David Fanshaw made in remote Kenya, with the intriguing title Witchcraft and Ritual Life's what you make it !

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Kanda Bongo Man - Kwassa Kwassa
Konono No. 1 - Congotronics
VA - Out Of Africa
Franco et le T.P.O.K. Jazz featuring Pepe Ndombe - Anjela
Bibi Den's Tshibayi And The Best - Sensible
VA - New Africa
VA - Witchcraft and Ritual (Kenya and Tanzania)
Dark City Sisters And Flyin' Jazz Queens
VA - Under African Skies

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Kanda Bongo Man - Kwassa Kwassa ( 89 flac 354 mb)

Kanda Bongo Man is one of the foremost figures in modern African popular music. He formed his first band as a 15-year-old in 1973, together with his two brothers, Soki Vangu and Soki Dianzenza. But the band, Orchestre Bella Mambo (later Bella Bella), toured in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Zaire with their newly created Soukous, a music style that is a cross between Caribbean rumba rhythms and traditional African music. 1979 Kanda Bongo Man went to Paris and had various jobs for a couple of years, including a stint at a glass factory, before getting a recording contract in 1981. Together with guitarist Diblo Dibala and Rigo Starr (!) he developed his own melodious and catchy Soukous. Already on his first discs, "Iyole" and "Djessy", he shows his ability to unite African dance rhythms with good melodies. His high speed form of soukous gave birth to the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips. In 1985 he appeared for the first time in England, at the WOMAD festival. Kanda Bongo Man has released a rack of albums and his swinging guitar-based dance music is popular all over the world .

01 - Sai (6:29)
02 - Cantique (5:21)
03 - Naloti (5:20)
04 - Lowazo (5:19)
05 - Lela-Lela (6:19)
06 - Bedy (5:19)
07 - Liza (6:36)
08 - Lisote (4:51)
09 - Belle-Amie (7:32)
10 - Ebeneza (5:44)

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Konono No. 1 - Congotronics ( 04 flac 334mb)

What makes this first installment of Belgium label Crammed’s Congotronics series so interesting is that despite living on the border between Congo and Angola, Konono No. 1’s music has, as the liner notes so gracefully explain, “accidentally connected them with the aesthetics of the most experimental forms of rock and electronic music” .

The Republic of Congo's Konono No1 are a twenty five year old outfit, but their sound is as fully 'of the present' as you could imagine. Each track is a relentless and unstoppable tumble of circling metallic notes and noises, which combine the feedback distortions of rock with the sophisticated polyrhythms of Central Africa. This great engine room of a sound, made by thumb pianos outfitted with homemade electric pickups and amps,which sound roughly like the cheapest-ass guitars played through trashed speakers with shredded cones, percussive tonal bursts buzzing against and resonating with each other, the bass producing a repetitive, rumbling two note syncopation supporting the treble’s breaks into wild, glorious arpeggios. This tapestry of homemade instruments gives the mythology of Konono a potent, raw edge, and the ferocity with which they play them only further substantiates the feeling that the music has been pushed into a raw, indelibly pure zone. ( play LOUD)

Note, Konono no 1 collaborated with Björk on the song "Earth Intruders" from her studio album, Volta. They will also accompany her on her promotional tour for the album.

01 - Lufuala Ndonga (9:27)
02 - Masikulu (8:01)
03 - Kule Kule (4:33)
04 - Ungudi Wele Wele (8:27)
05 - Paradiso (7:03)
06 - Kule Kule Reprise (3:04)
07 - Mama Liza (10:22)

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VA - Out Of Africa (88 ^ 456mb)

Rykodisc's Out of Africa is a topnotch sampler of some of the continent's more popular acts. And while some of the selections can fall victim to Western studio gloss, most of what's here ranges from lean and infectious dance grooves to more traditional beats. On the most popular end of the spectrum, the disc features tracks by Senegal's Youssou N'Dour and the South African female vocal combo the Mahotella Queens. Falling a spot or two on the star map, there are also fine numbers by Nigeria's respective juju and yo-pop masters, Ebenezer Obey and Segun Odewale, as well as a fine track by one of the originators of Congolese soukous music, Tabu Ley Rochereau. Sidetracked by a bloated bit of Afro-funk from Cameroon's Ali Baba (shades of the gloved one's Thriller period), the disc finds its way again with standouts by the Ivory Coast's Jane Agnimel and South Africa's Udokotela Shange Namajaha.

As this 68 min. wasn't going to compress under a 100 mb at ogg 7, i decided to go for a double download and ogg 9(320k) , this still left some room for a couple of african dance classics, Burundi Black and Tony Allen's "Never Expect Power Always"(NEPA) together with its glorious dubversion .

VA - Out Of Africa (flac 456mb)

01 - Youssou N'Dour - N'Dobine
02 - Poto Doudongo - Bolingo
03 - Mahotella Quieens - Zibuyile Nonyaka
04 - Jane Agnimel - Lene N'De
05 - Ali Baba - Kenya Rinia
06 - Segun Adewale - Atewo-Lara Ka Tepa Mo'Se
07 - Somo Somo - Kilemi
08 - Ebenezer Obey - To Ba Nwa I Re
09 - Udokotela Shange Namajaha - Awungilobolele
10 - Souzy Kasseya - Mr. Simon
11 - Tabu Ley Rochereau - King Sa

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Franco et le T.P.O.K. Jazz featuring Pepe Ndombe - Anjela ( 88 ^119mb)

He was born Francois Luambo Makiadi on July 6 1938 in the village of Sona-Bata , in the Bas Zaire region. His father , Joseph Emongo was a railroad worker while his mother sold home made bread at the local market. He began his musical career at a tender age. By age 7, he had already built his first home made guitar. He played the guitar to attract customers to his mother's market stall. His musical talent was first tapped by guitarist Paul Ebengo Dewayon who took him under his wing and taught him the subtleties of guitar playing. Franco made his professional debut in Dewayon's Watam band at age 12. While at the band He wowed audiences with his exemplary guitar skills while playing a guitar which was almost as big as himself. He cut his first solo record titled Bolingo na ngai na Beatrice ( my love for Beatrice) in 1953.

In 1956 along with Jean Serge Essous , He formed the band OK Jazz which was later to be renamed TPOK Jazz. Two years later when Essous left the band, He took over as band leader and never looked back. The band grew from the original 6 members to over 50 members 30 years later. For over 30 years He recorded prolifically and performed for audiences the world over, while maintaning a distinct style. His band dominated the charts and produced over 150 albums most of which sold over 50,000 copies. He died on October 12 1989 leaving behind 18 children as well as a huge legacy.

01 - Tawaba
02 - Anjela

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Bibi Den's Tshibayi And The Best - Sensible (84 ^ 143mb)

Tshibayi, singer, composer; was taught to sing by his mother, a Protestant missionary and choir mistress; sang and composed while still in primary school in academic group SavioFiesta, for more elaborate amateur group Lisango at secondary school in Kananga; to Kinshasha '72, sang with Thu Zahina using equipment provided by Franco; also took B.S. degree '75, worked as reporter on local newspaper. Turned to music full-time with The Best '79 at the Kinshasha International, but took up computer studies to please his parents. When the group was offered a contract at the Abidjan Intercontinental '82 he returned to music, released The Best Ambience ' 83, title single on Earthworks. Second album Sensible confirmed talent, but then his musical path was crossed by a careermove in informatics, in 2000 the ex-journalist, ex-informatician, returned as Denis Tshibayi with a new album Nge Na Munu, produced and mixed by Adrian Sherwood and Skip McDonald. " Sensible " starts off with a ballad before getting into the soukous/hi life gear.

01 - Djwa Yango (5:29)
02 - Africa Mawa (5:51)
03 - Sensible (8:03)
04 - Amour (6:55)

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VA - New Africa (85 * 99 mb)

Streetsounds was part of the UK Streetwave stable of labels created by Morgan Khan. A Hong Kong-born Indian who grew up in London, Khan had worked in the UK record industry since the mid 1970's. Khan founded the independent Streetwave record label during 1981 to specialise in releasing Electro and Hi-NRG releases. Within a year of creation, Streetwave began the Streetsounds series of albums; compilations created from some of the hottest 12" imports of the day. These releases made available a selection of the most contemporary dance floor hits within the financial reach of those wanting to hear the freshest sounds

This series would run for over 6 years and contain over 50 albums. By far the most coveted of the Streetsounds releases were the Electro series. All of the albums were competently mixed by a series of the best remixers of the day - predominately from the UK. New Africa was mixed by DJ Maurice and DJ Noel, the tracks were produced or remixed by Bill Laswell.

01 - Manu Dibango - Electric Africa (6:00)
02 - Bosca - (We'll Be) Together (3:15)
03 - Touré Kunda - Toure Kunda (5:09)
04 - Hugh Masekela - Politician (5:53)
05 - Somo Somo - Masikini Ya Mola (4:56)
06 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - No Agreement (6:01)
07 - Touré Kunda - Em'ma (3:13)
08 - Fela Anikulapo Kuti - Army Arrangement (4:51)
09 - Mory Kanté - Yeke Yeke (6:34)
10 - Mandingo - Harima (3:21)

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VA - Witchcraft and Ritual (Kenya and Tanzania) ( 04 ^ 98mb)

"In this recording, i have tried to capture the spirit of the musical heritage now nearly extinct. The music on this album comes from a part of east Africa whose musical traditions remain largely unknown to the rest of the world. Particularly fascinating is the manner in which music and medicine are combined in the indigenous practice of witchcraft : music takes on the power of medicine, and medicine becomes associated with the healing sound of drums, interwoven with beautiful threads of melody "

David Fanshaw (1975)

01 - Ngoma ra mrongo
02 - Mwara initiation
03 - Coconut pickers song
04 - Matondoni wedding
05 - Marimba
06 - Tuken moral songs
07 - Giriama spirit dance
08 - Kayamba dance- Giriama wedding
09 - Alto bung'o horn
10 - Akamba witch doctor
11 - Pokot witch doctor
12 - Pokot dance
13 - Song of dawn
14 - Lukuji
15 - Nyatiti.
16 - Funeral dance

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Dark City Sisters And Flyin' Jazz Queens ( flac  250mb)

Classics from the era when female lead singers were the glory of South African music. From the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, the Dark City Sisters (who launched Mahlathini, heard on three cuts here) were outsung only by the Flying Jazz Queens.

"The finest South African Marabi Jive ever", it says on the cover, all the Africans loved the Dark City Sisters. This is happy music. It's "Forget your troubles and dance" music. It will make your spirits rise and your feet move.

It's characterised by the distinctive close harmony sound that we associate with good South African music, beautifully done, mostly in Zulu. The Dark City Sisters were amongst the first to pioneer this sound in the 1950s and 60s, blending indigenous music with a rhythmic guitar backing and an occasional bit of saxophone, to produce this unique result. And they do it supremely well. Only two of the tracks, the 2nd and 6th, are by the Flying Jazz Queens, these are as good as anything else on the album..

01 - Sekusile
02 - Langa More (Tap Tap)
03 - Thathu Kisi
04 - Jabulani Nonke
05 - Tomati Yo Yo No. 3
06 - Retswa Gauteng
07 - Emahlathini
08 - Insizwa
09 - Langa More
10 - Amangwane Amyame
11 - Ingwababa
12 - Mokupi
13 - Izinto Ezinhle
14 - Eleventh Year Anniversary
15 - Nkabinde
16 - Lelo Hashe

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VA - Under African Skies (cd1) (flac 276mb)

All the tracks on this album were 'live'recordedon lacation for the BBC II "Under African Skies "TV series. They have not been remixed or touched upon, no apologies for the 'rawness'of some of the performences. Lead guitar on Wenges Musica's Do Do la Rose is loud and upfront, just where you would hear it at a Congolese concert. Simarly , the electricity of an open air gig under african skies is caught in spectacular style as Tshala bellows into the night over the heads of a huge crowd. Next time i'll post cd 2 as this focusses on the African Desert music (Mali, Ethiopia) As a teaser to that post this cd ends with 2 tracks from Algeria, more to come in my Sunshine Sahara post coming saturday.

01 - Papa Wemba & His Band - Esclave (Zaire)
02 - Wenge Musica - Do Do La Rose (Zaire)
03 - Tsibolia Mulumba - Tshala Muana (Zaire)
04 - Ray Lama - Dialogue (Zaire)
05 - Empire Bakuba - Kwassa Kwassa (Zaire)
06 - Animateurs Welcoming VIPs on Independence Day 1989, Kinshasa - untitled (Zaire)
07 - Princess Mansia - Chameleon (Zaire)
08 - Bhundu Boys - Chinhoyi (Zimbabwe)
09 - Music Class at St. Joseph's School - Dialogue (Zimbabwe)
10 - Comrade Chinx & Ilanga - Ngorimba (Zimbabwe)
11 - Jam Session at Wedding ft. Ephat Mujura & The Spirit Of The People - untitled (Zimbabwe)
12 - Busi & Ilanga - True Love (Zimbabwe)
13 - Lovemore Majaivana - Ngugama (Zimbabwe)
14 - Messaoud Bellemou - Hada Raikoum (Algeria)
15 - Chaba Fadela & Cheb Sahraoui - N'Sel Fik (Algeria)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !


Anonymous said...

just an amazing collection of music, you are a connoisseur.. brilliant stuff.. thanks so much for sharing this treasure trove.. awesome... zenmonkey

Anonymous said...

very nice blog, thanx. quality is not a matter of stile! you're great! i am looking for african music (bhundu boys esp), and most of my interest is a compilation :
'something new from africa' south africa 1959 decca. i destroyed my parents' vinyl with a key when i was younger...if anyone know, where i can download it, tell me please.
ps. a very good blog, i found'n'find a lot of my youth. funny, how people live seperately and hear the same music!!!!!!!
thanx again rho

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this fantastic music! Been looking for Dark City Sisters and the Flying Jazz Queens for so long now. Last heard this album 15 years ago! Its still as good as I remember!

Anonymous said...

thanks a million, i have been looking for the dark city sisters for a longtime, you have no idea how much i appreciate this, thanks again

Unknown said...

Any chance of someone reuploading this album VA - Under African Skies (cd1),thanx a lot.Another good african music blog is african music forum

Pius Adoyo said...

Please re-up these files in Bigfile?
Dr. Adoyo

Anonymous said...

It would be grateful if you could re-up Dark City Sisters

ianbuckers said...

Hi Rho. Please could you re-up the Streetsounds New Africa LP?

Thanks :)

ianbuckers said...

Out Of Africa comes up as a damaged zip everytime I download it. Is it possible for you to have a look please? Thanks, Rho.

Rho said...

Hello Ian, two things first this page was re-upped 5 months ago so no new re-ups , oddly no one complained of a damaged zip, i wonder what you use to unzip i always use 7zip. Anyway, because you seem to have made serious efforts to get Out Of Africa (without drowning) You get a personal delivery here VA - Out Of Africa (456mb)

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho.
It's long time ago, I sent a request. Before age and health finaly prohibit further trips to Africa, the 7 in front is very near, I'll go there at this year's end for the last time.
Last time I collected many records from your blog but not all. I would like to collect the missing now.
Could you please re-up preferably in flac, ape or wv

Franco et le T.P.O.K. Jazz featuring Pepe Ndombe - Anjela
Bibi Den's Tshibayi And The Best
VA - New Africa

Many thanks for your best effort beforehands.

More requests follow but bit by bit