Luo, Luhya, Kipsigis, Kikuyu, Nandi, Swahili, Wanga and Giriama tribes. Choirs and songs with string accompaniment on guitar, oud, mostly lyres — like the thum, with eight strings, made of cow-tendons.
Fat, glorious mid-seventies South African afro-jazz classic from the vaults of As-shams, the first in a series, beautifully re-presented by Matsuli in a limited edition of 500 hand-numbered 180g LPs.
Eastern vibes and high emotions in this singing, accompanied by the sosolu flute, rocking mandaly and jejo bory lutes, the atranatra xylophone-on-legs, the lokanga fiddle.
Various songs — and valiha zither, made from a bamboo trunk, the sodina flute, the angorodao accordion, the kabosy lute, and the amponga tany, a ground zither made of plant rope, wood, and dung.
Puffing-and-blowing rimotsy singing for possession rituals and burials, a cappella polyphony with its image of blues and spirituals, erotic chin-shaking, solo marovany zither…
Scintillating East African dance music, from seventies Nairobi. The band’s name mangles ‘marquez le pas’, meaning ‘mark time’: sure enough, the beat is irresistible.
Sublimely convulsive Shangaan electro-gospel by a South African pastor, brimming with aching, mournful spirituality.
The ravanne is a large drum — a goatskin stretched over a wooden frame — played with the hands, emblematic of the Creole cultural heritage on this island in the Indian Ocean: the music here is fabulous.
Afro-soul blends, the Sowetan exile alongside the Adderleys and a Crusader or two.
Menwar is a political and cultural spokesperson for the Creole minority in Mauritius, refreshing traditional musical forms like sega to put his messages across. The sound is lightly rootsy, dominated by drums and voices.
‘The South African folk music that makes people glad to be alive!’
With Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor.
Stefan Schneider and Sven Kacirek’s scintillating recordings of the Mijikenda tribes, made in different spots in and around Mukunguni village, coastal Kenya: spiritual and healing music, and love-songs.
The Zambians’ second LP of funk, psych, and fuzzed-out Afrobeat. 64–page booklet includes interviews with Rikki Ilionga and co. The vinyl edition adds sides from rare sevens, 1972-6.
Instrumental music from the north: like the hunting bow, made from wild vine and the tendon of an antelope, struck with a stick or a porcupine spine. One end goes in the performer’s mouth, which makes a resonator.
‘Soultown, rhythm and blues, funk and psych sounds from the townships, 1960-75’.
Jazz in South Africa, 1963-1978, ranging freely across bluesy, jive, fusion and spiritual jazz styles: jubilantly entertaining.
The bangwe zither, the one-stringed karigo lute, the kubu bow, the kalimba, malipenga gourd-kazoo marching music, choral and polyphonic singing.