So its summer now, which usually means I start listening to different stuff. I probably listen to hip hop the most year round, but other stuff creeps in when the seasons change. When snow is on the ground I seem to listen to a lot of Jamaican music for some reason. Sun City Girls are really good for mowing lawns and pulling weeds. I dunno if rain does anything but I’m pretty used to that growing up in Portland and all. Now that its nice out I have been listening to a lot of African music. All sorts of stuff, from older field recording stuff on Ocora and Original to that new hiplife comp . Into the 70s rock stuff too. Here’s some African jawns i’ve been digging lately:
This is the only disc I have heard on Drag City’s Western Africa spin off label Yaala Yaala so far. Just listened to it for the first time today. Very strange music. I am really not sure if Pekos and Yoro Diallo are separate groups or if the music is all made by one group. I am kind of guessing Yoro Diallo is the vocalist, and Pekos are the band. The folks over at the great Awsome Tapes From Africa have a different Yoro Diallo tape up as well (which I remember being great). Strange ranting vocals over even stranger strings and this metal scraping instrument that makes it sound like there is mic feedback all over the disc. It’s REALLY weird. Here’s the first track on the CD.
Pekos and Yoro Diallo – Untitled Track 1
This is the New “African Scream Contest” comp aka “Togo Soundz”, a really nice African rock collection that came out this March. This project started off as a record collectors trip to Cotonou and ended up becoming a large research project on the 70s musicians of the area. While people whine about a lot of similar labels for not really working with the artists on their comps, this release was well researched with a lot of work done with the musicians and sound engineers themselves. This is probably my favorite joint on the CD, but the whole disc is a really solid and up there with the Soundway comps. You can also get another mix of similar jams on the Analog Africa blog as well as some other free tracks from the CD. Really great cover art.
El Rego Et Ses Commandos – Se Na Min
VA – Zulu Songs from South Africa(Lyricord)
I couldn’t find the cover of this online, so the closest thing I could find was a picture of Jude Law and some Zulus. I don’t know too much about the largest south African ethnic group or their music aside from the fact that Paul Simon likes it and “Wimoweh” was a rip off of a big South African hit from the 40s. My good buddy Grisha ripped this LP and uploaded it for everyone to enjoy. What he says about the LP (as I can’t find any info on the LP online): “Recorded in 1982, but released in 1987, it is relatively new. which means it’s very well recorded and has the musicians listed (the tracks are tagged accordingly). I bought mine sealed at mondo kim’s in 2006, but right now it seems to be unavailable, at least online, so here it goes. One of the most immediately enjoyable african folk music collections I heard”. I agree with him on the last part for sure. Big thanks to Grisha for this wonderful music (I actually think I was at Mondo Kim’s with him when he bought it when we were both in NYC for the last Erstquake two years ago)
Download it Here
While Esau doesn’t currently reside in Africa, He is from Lilongwe, the capital of Malawai in East Africa. Now he lives in East London and met the Radioclit boys after they bought a bike from his store. They have recently finished an album, in which you can see a “making of” video here. Esau kills the M.I.A. joint dead on this one. I really enjoy what I’ve heard from this cat and look forward to hearing the new album. Dude has a great smile as well! More music and info can be heard on his myspace here.
My plan is to do an African Music post like this once a week this summer. Enjoy!
P.S. I’m really glad the lakers didn’t win.