Kirinyaga

AIT subsidiary label. Known to have bad pressings, meaning the audio will sound worse than the visual grading.

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Kiru Brothers

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Kombora

CBS subsidiary for Jobiso group. Orch Jobiso was both a breakway from Orch Simba Wanyika and later, after brothers Wilson and George Kinyonga reconciled, a flag of convenience outlet for George’s own compositions.

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Koth Kiyombi

AIT (Andrews International and Teal) label with mostly DO7 Shirati Jazz output.

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Kuja Mol

Late 1970s AIT label that features benga productions by Okoth Kodondi.

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Kung Fu

Luo label

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Kungu Chamo Piny

CBS subsidiary label.

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KWE

Quartet of singles by two Luo bands. I have found no information on Orch Oguyo and all I can say about the Yahoos Band is that both their singles were written by Sam Oketch, which suggests a link with Kendu Jazz Band.

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Kwetu

Julius Nyerere’s socialist vision for Tanzania during his term as president from 1963-1984 meant that record labels were few and far between. Kwetu, Sindimba, TFC and Uhuru Stars are all products of the state-run Tanzania Film Company, which specialised in producing documentaries for government bodies and had its own recording studio.

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Lake Victoria

Label from Victoria Music Stores, featuring productions by Okoth Kodondi. He is best-known for his extensive work with Luo benga bands on labels such as Ka-Ber and Kodondi but he also produced other bands too.

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Lamore

Early Kenyan label started in the late 60s, pre Melodica times. Established by Pravinlal Laljibhai Daudia.

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Les Volcano

A Jaca label for Charles Ray Kassembe’s Orch Les Volcano produced by AC Kochomo. Kassembe took over leadership of the band after Mbaraka Mwinshehe’s death and it also recorded for Bingwa, Mlima and Superphonics, though never with the same level of success as under Mwinshehe’s leadership. For a full listing of labels, check out the Bands Index.

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Light & Sound

The only label releasing singles in Mogadishu Somalia throughout the seventies and eighties. Run by Dahir Omar. Early pressings was done in Lebanon, but the majority of output was made in Nairobi Kenya.

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Linga

CBS imprint that appears to have specialised in releasing records by Kenya-based Congolese musicians.

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Lisano

Congo label.

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Lulus

Another label run by DK Mwai.

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M.N.R.

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M.S.R.

MSR clearly stands for Mamicha Sound Recordings and the whole operation appears to have been owned and run by Mike Njenga Mamicha (The Wonder Boy) as he modestly credits himself on PCM 007.

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Maendeleo Ya Sega-Sega

Looks like a label with output from the Sega Sega Luo band

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Mambo

All the rest of Mambo’s output as recorded so far is in Kipsigis. I can’t tell you anything about the bands or their music, but the existence of these records indicates a lively if little-known local music scene.

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Matata

A diverse label that emphasises on Luo music but throws a bit of everything into the mix.

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Mbutta

Luo Label.

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Melodica

One of the most prolific record labels in Kenya, both under its own imprint and as a distributor of subsidiaries. Started early seventies, the label is still running.

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Mercury

Label operated by Mercury music store Nairobi.

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MIME

Even though the catalog number is 020 I think this label only had one release.

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Misonga

One of many Andrew Crawford prodcutions labels

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Mkulima

Mkulima means “farmer” in Kiswahili. Nairobi-based Sapra were the producers behind several labels during the 1970s, most notably Hodi-Tone. This label was an Angola export label hence the no center pressings.

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Mombasa Roots

Private label for the groups releases, only one release documented.

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Moninga

French label with Congo Artists.

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Moto Moto

One of AIT’s subsidiary labels. With the exception of the Milambo Jazz Band singles, which are in Dholuo, the rest of these singles are in Swahili and the majority appear to be by Tanzanian bands, suggesting this became AIT’s main conduit for releasing music licensed from Tanzania.

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MPC

MUSICORT PRODUCTION COMPANY - One off label that released one single by Juma Toto Toddy Nationale

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Mu-Africa

Rift valley brothers private label.

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Mugoiri Sounds

Private Kikuyu label, only one known release.

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Musiciana

A Shariff’s of Bungoma label that is definitely a head-scratcher. How did a label based in Western Province come to issue MUSA 03, a record by a Kamba band whose name implies they came from Eastern Province? And why are both Orch Special Liwanza and Orch Shika Shika listed as the artists on MUSA 001 and MUSA 5?

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Musiki du Zaire

One of AIT’s subsidiary labels that basically does what it says on the tin, ie, release records by Congolese artists, many of them based in Kenya and Tanzania.

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mutomboka

Zambian label

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Mwamo Gusii

The language of the Kisii and the label name means "village elder’s chair". Another Chandarana output label.

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Mwewe Kipanga

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Mzee Kobe

Luo label where the label’s name “Old Tortoise” in Swahili is repeated in Dholuo, where Opuk - tortoise - is probably a praise name while Pek means important, big.

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Mzuri

The label of Assanand & Sons music store in Mombasa, which started out releasing 78rpm discs back in the 1950s.

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N.G Sound

A label with releases by Kikuyu artists.

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Nairobi Matata

Looks like a self financed effort from the band. Only one release so far ..

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Ndege Ja N’Gur

A Victoria Music Store subsidiary label.

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Ngoma

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Njangwa

Interesting label with varied output from some of the bigger Kenyan Groups at the time. Looks like early 80s

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NMS

Label with music from the Bukusu tribe

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Nyamangura

Appears to be a sister label to Jamienda as both are produced by Mashuke Records of Suna. Two releases both with offshoots of Victoria Kings.

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Nyang Omaki

AIT label affiliate, mostly luo output.

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Odyssey Records

A lot of 80s Pop oriented Kikuyu music was released on this label

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Owino Nyota

AIR subsidiary label.

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Oyieyo Ringo

AIT-distributed label, mostly Dholuo output

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P&P Sounds

Late seventies label that featured kikuyu and kamba artists.

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Palla Sonic

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Pathé

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Philips

The record label was a division of Philips, the Dutch-based electronics giant , and was originally set up in 1950. Twelve years later, in 1962, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon, owners of the Polydor label, set up a joint venture, Phonogram. Both Philips and Polydor issued records in Africa during the 1960s, then in 1972 Phonogram merged with Polydor to form a new company, Polygram. At this point, the Philips label all but disappeared in East Africa.

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Pino

A Doromy label - the name means “wasp”

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Pluto Sounds International

Subsidiary to the PLUTO label. Some South African acts appear on the label for Kenya distribution.

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Polydor

The East African division of Polydor was set up in 1968. Early recordings were made at the Associated Sound studios in Nairobi and some 45s carry its logo as in the picture above right. Before 1972, Polydor was a subsidiary of Deutsche Grammophon. That year it merged with Philips and after that the label became the company’s main outlet for East African music.

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Pwani

Chandarana imprint focusing on Taarab music from Mombasa and further south. Most likely recorded on his portable recording studio.

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Rainbow Sounds

A Kikuyu label, out of Karatina, a market town midway between Nairobi and Nanyuki.

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Razaka

Private label for Jimmy "Razaka" Mawi from Madagascar. Nairobi press.

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RCA

Huge label and a few artists from South Africa and Kenya landed a record deal with the company.

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Rocket

Label distributed through POK in Nairobi.

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Rose Jaber

A vehicle for productions by Juma Toto, with the Toddy Six and Toddy National as successors to Todi National ’72, who recorded for Melodica and Pathe, while David Mganda’s involvement in Nyota Jazz pegs them as another offshoot of Victoria Jazz.

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