There is nothing like a local library that truly caters for the community. Wandering around my local library I came across a CD “Africa Remix (Ah Freak Iya)” and the tracklisting was a delight. It was released to compliment the Africa Remix '05 exhibition, one of which i had the pleasure of attending summer last year. The cream of African music is well represented here from Awilo Longomba to Oumou Sangare. With a nice inlay booklet profiling the exhibition and artists it really is a well put together compilation. With my headphones on, inspiring myself, I welcome you to the African music roundup #9.
Anandkumar Arumugasamy of My XPerience as me blog talks on the inclusion of music in computer games and highlights an in-game song, “Baba Yetu” (The Lord's Prayer in Swahili), featured in the game Civilization 4:
“The first track, “Baba yetu”, is like THE perfect song and made quite an impression the first time I heard it. It's an awesome intro song for an awesome game. The song itself is in Swahili (an African tongue) and features bold drums, a great voice and a soothing chorus. You wouldn't understand a word of it of course, but if you care to know, the song's supposed to be a famous christian prayer called ‘The Lord's Prayer'”
The song was recorded by the Standford University music group Talisman A Cappella specifically for the game. Anandkumar goes on to list the top in-game songs from other popular games. An mp3 file of the song “Baba Yetu” can be downloaded here. Amen.
FAOAfrican drops a short post highlighting the ban of misogynistic songs by the Central African Republic government:
“Central African Republic has ordered radio and television stations to stop broadcasting songs which encourage men to dump their wives, saying such music is a hindrance to the country’s development.”
More details of this ban can be found on the bbc website. Rightly so as music should uplift and not encourage discrimination in any form. Well done.
Mentalacrobatics blogs on an interview on the bbc about the lack of access to the UK market by African Artists.
“I was listening to an interview on the radio a while ago on the BBC where an African music promoter was complaining about the lack of access African artists and African promoters have to the UK. He complained that governments and venues would fall over each other to host concerts like Live8 where they are raising money for us, but those same governments and venues will never assist African promoters in generating wealth for Africa through bringing African artist to the perform in the west.”
Mentalacrobatics goes on to throw open questions on the intentions of the Live8 organisers. Contentious issue.
“It’s still early days but the site is slick and full of information. The most recent programme was put out in Feb 2006 and features interviews with emcees and discussions focusing on issues facing African hip hop and of course music from all over the continent – all the compass points are covered.”
africanhiphopradio.com, run by the hardworking J4, has hours upon hours of quality African hiphop and informative commentary. Shows are by regions with everything from Egyptian to hip hop by the way of Cape Verde. A sister site, africanhiphop.com, also exists and complements the radio site with very active forums and news articles. Essential bookmark.
dj earball of SoundRoots posts an interesting review of the album “Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda.“
“The rich liner notes give a great background to the 600-strong community of people near Mbale in eastern Uganda who are practicing Jews, keeping kosher, celebrating Jewish holidays, praying in Hebrew. The community was founded by Semei Kakugulu, whose literal reading of the Bible eventually led him, and his followers, to Judaism.”
earball provides links for further information. Talk about cultural juxtapositions!
Matt of matsuli music blog posts on “The Franco of East Africa”, talking about a popular sixties group The Morogoro Jazz band:
“The Morogoro Hotel, Tanzania, early evening some time in the late sixties. The open-air make-shift band-stand hosts a new band born in the spirit of independence and African authenticity. Hired to keep the punters drinking and honing their skills from dusk til the early hours. The band is known as the Morogoro Jazz band and amongst its members are Mbaraka Mwinshehe and Salim Abdallah, both of whom were to go on to become legendary musical figures in seventies East Africa.”
Matt talks about Mbaraka and provides some mp3s to showcase his sound.
afrogasm blogs on Yoruba music, providing information on the rare album “The Yoruba/Dahomean Collection – Orishas Across the Ocean“:
“The music is compiled from Library of Congress archives and comprises recordings made by several researchers between 1939 and 1957 in Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, and Trinidad; Mickey Hart is one of the producers and editors. This time, I'm going to take the time to read the whole booklet ‘cuz there's some fascinating historical and cultural information there; but first, I'm just going to listen because the music is really wonderful.”