Agb’oju L’ogun was the dance floor hit sensation of 1979. Nigerian composer Shina Williams managed to gather the finest musicians working in Lagos, and this boogie beast is what they came up with.
It’s for albums like this that I have such a love of Bandcamp. This release originally came out in 1997, and was a collection of pieces of Soliman Gamil’s other records for the Touch Label. Though they would have made lovely soundtrack music, it’s more an exploration of and experimentation with Egyptian classical music. A well-done reissue by Mike Harding and Touch.
Sub Rosa released a compilation of Garifuna music recorded and produced by Juan Carlos Barrios (aka Radio Zumbido). It’s a wonderfully horn-and-lullaby laden compilation of wonderful music straddling between the Guatemalan border, Honduras, parts of Nicaragua and Belize, where African and indigenous cultures collide. Yet another stellar compilation.
Momo Wandel Soumah was a saxophonist and vocalist from Guinea who did a stunning job mixing jazz (especially that of the Charlie Parker and John Coltrane variety) with ethnic music from his region of the world. This session was recorded in 1991.
He passed away in 2003, but left this album as his legacy.
My first introduction to the world of Paul Bowles, as well as the Sub Rosa record label, was through this disc. The combination of stories read by Bowles himself, as well as the artwork and ambiance by storyteller Mohammed M’Rabet, made it wonderful bedtime listening, allowing me to transport my mind to what a hazy, stoned Tangier must have been like in the 1950s and 60s. This aged very nicely.
Kyriakos Sfetsas is originally from Lefkadia an island in Greece, and started this particular band in the mid-1970s in order to expand the boundaries of what Greek traditional music is. Apparently, there is a lot more music of his which has yet to be released. This is as fine an intro to his works as one could hope for.
Much love to Teranga Beat, the Senegalese label which will release this masterpiece on May 25, 2018.
Abu Obaida Hassan had a wonderful career during the 1970s and 1980s making the kids sway in Khartoum, Sudan with his tambour, but by the second decade of this century, Sudanese media pronounced him dead. Thankfully, he is far from it, and courtesy of Ostinato Records, he has a fine retrospective coming out on May 18, 2018.
Amazing things keep showing up in Mexico. Sonido Gallo Negro are a band out of Mexico City, and mix a wild cumbia sound with psychedelic music. The results are thoroghly in keeping with the best of radical Mexican alternative music.
El Mahdy Jr. is a composer and beatmaker originally from Alergia, but who is now hailing from Turkey. His work is informed by VERY heavy dub (his dad, apparently, had quite an awesome collection) and sampling. Very creative.