Kiratu & his group ‘Yanagiria Kayo’ Kikuyu sounds

No it’s not the new IPHONE 5 we are presenting here, it’s the B-side of a Kenyan single released on the Kikuyu label late 70’ties. It’s one we’ve come to like during the last few months as it features some cool drumming, a distorted wah-wah guitar and wicked bumpin’ base. In typical Kikuyu style you can’t help but hum along to the refrain. Another love sung we presume as we can clearly hear “I love you” in some of the vocals. Listen to the tempo change at 02:22!

Kikuyu SoundsB) Kiratu & his Group ‘Yanagiria Kayo’

Cobras ‘Wari-Wa pt 1&2’ Polydor

We keep the trend of posting dancefloor oriented material and this track is no exception. It’s a cover tune of a Loi Loki Tok song. And it’s a hard one;  heavvy driving  percussion with a neat chant, dirty wah-wah, fierce horns and a wicked synth riff. Released by Polydor East-Africa, judging from the Mijikenda tag on the label this is from the Coastal regent of Kenya, most possibly a Mombasa band. Major thanks to Rickard Masip of Tropical treats fame for this one.

PolydorA) Cobra ‘Wari Wa Pt. 1’

Silver Survivors experience ‘Funky Station’ WRC

About time we posted something proper funky. A Killer ghetto production with a huge break, catchy horns and a infectious moog lick high up in the mix. And wait till the trumpet solo hits in the end. We’re suspecting this might be a cover of something coming out of the US in mid seventies? The WRC label is a weird one, with local cover productions, reggae hits and a lot of mediocre disco stuff. We’re glad Nairobi native George Fombe produced this one, as nearly everything that has his name on is gold. Where is he today and who said Kenya can’t be funky?

A) Silver Survivors Experience ‘Funky-Station’WRC

Gonda success ‘Gonda ya bara isanga’ africa sounds

buyThe cool label name pretty much sums it up. We can’t find any info on the band and our KENTANZA source tells us it’s the only release on the label out of two singles. A top notch traditional track here with a happy driving beat and a great guitar lick.  And we love the way the harmony vocals works here. From the Taita tribe sung in the Kitaita language, closely related to Swahili.  The lyrics tells another story about moral and ethics, don’t be careless and play-away with your life.

A) Gonda Success Band ‘GOnda Ya Bara Isanga’WRC

Les Igao ‘African disco Zimbabwe’ City Boom

It’s late 1980. Imagine yourself sitting in a local bar downtown Harare with a cold Zambezi by your side. The comfort and mood is just right as the red neon light paints a positive atmosphere in the bar. There is a stage there and it’s starting to get crowded! L’Orchestra Les Igao band has come all the way from Kenya and Congo to perform their newest hit. “African Disco Zimbabwe” It’s the end of an era as colonial times are history,  you can feel the joy in crowd and the rush of the band.  Big ups to fellow crate digger Christian Mikkelsen of ONA fame for turning up a copy of this  beauty from the collection. We have no info on the band but you can read more about the City Boom label on Kentanza vinyl. Enjoy!

A&B) Les Igao Band ‘African Disco Zimbabwe’WRC

Band Sauti Popote ‘Adam na Hawa pt1&2’ Ruhia

We haven’t found any information on the label nor the artist here, looks like a private one off. Great label design, is that a horn upside down? The music speaks for itself here, a religious Kikuyu duet with a great slab of horns and funky guitar drive. In tradition of similar sounding Kikuyu groups at the time (Lulus band, Rift Valley bros) the sound on the b-side is nearly all instrumental. Note the funky change-up at 1:35 and wait for the bass solo! This smells of dancefloor potential. Probably from around mid seventies 75 or 76. Enjoy!

[audio:http://www.afroseven.net/songs/Band-sauti-popote-ithui-riu-pt12.mp3|titles=Band sauti popote – Adam Na Hawa pt1&2]

Mombasa Vikings ‘Kibe Kibe’ Beach Rhythms

We have been up and down the coast of Kenya’s Swahili land scouting for records but we never came across this little 45. It was just a few years ago tropical master digger Rickard Masip turned up a copy in his own homeland of Sweden. Obviously a souvenir brought back from the Reef  Hotel Mombasa (still running today!).  A killer funky instrumental double sider. Percussive, organ, wah-wah and tribal vocal chant. Infectious!  The band also released a full album by the name of the Vikings ‘African songs’, recorded in Switzerland. Both songs from the single are featured on the lp but the 45 take sounds earlier and better to our ears. [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/mombasa-vikings-kibe-kibe.mp3|titles=mombasa vikings – kibe kibe]

Lulus band – Nguinio nuu DK Undugu sound

One of many Lulu’s band singles. A prolific Kikuyu group that recorded for several labels, the groups private D.K. Undugu Sounds was run by the groups leader Daniel Kamau. Expect excellent loud pressing and tight production,  simple funky aural esthetics’s as tight drumming, catchy vocals and a thousand dollar guitar riff! Perfect for the dancefloors of 2012.

B) Lulus Band ‘Nguinio Nuu’WRC

L’orchestre Teke-Teke – Libala Bombanda Pasi Ed. Bonga

Another Kenyan Congolese import band. And another AIT subsidiary label. There is no information to scout on the NET whatsoever on the band,  although they released three other singles on the same label.  Build up around a lovely hummin’ chorus,  great atmosphere  and a kickass tropical guitar harmonic ostinato,  listen when it goes jazzy and the horns kick in midway .. what a tune! Both part 1 and 2 from the single assembled in the audio.

A&B) Orch. Teke Teke Libala ‘Libala Bombanda Pasi’WRC

Orch. Bana Ekanga Haraka Haina Baraka Shika

Here is a gem of a tune from Orchestra Bana Ekanga.  Apparently a group that was an offshoot of the famous BABA NATIONAL, read more about the band and Baba Gaston on the excellent Muzikifan’s article Congolese bands in east Africa,  The song features an Intricate drum beat with a beautiful female vocal effort by Nana Akumu wa Kudu of Pepelepe fame. Don’t believe the hype? Listen in and get hypnotized! [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Orch.-Bana-Ekanga-Haraka-Haina-Baraka.mp3]

Famous Nyahururu Boys Mwendwa Wahome super sounds

A duet for a change, a very sweet growing slow-burn track musically labeled Coast, strangely it has this Ethiopia vibe to it. The Famous Nyahururu Boys was a Kikuyu band with frontman James Wahome who is credited for the tune and the label. As it is sung in Kikuyu we can’t find anyone who can translate it, but we’ve got it confirmed from our Swahili source it’s another love song 🙂  Listen in while it build towards the end ..

A) Famous Nyahururu Boys ‘Mwendwa’WRC

Orchestra Masantula – Sauda pt 1&2 ed. Masantula

If we got our facts straight ‘L’orchestre Masantula’ is a Tanzanian group, released on an AIT subsidiary label. ‘SAUDA’  A nice traditional track with a nice uplifting edge: driving percussive backing, guitar, sax and cool chorus. Curious about the message of the song we had to consult with our man in Nairobi, unfortunately he lost his mobile phone so we will have to wait to get the lyrics translations sorted out. Anyways we’ve merged both sides of the vinyl platter so enjoy the whole track! If you like this track we suggest you buy it, it was compiled on Essential East African Hits Volume 2 and The Essential East African Collection Vol 2. [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Orch.-Masantula-Sauda.mp3|titles=Orch. Masantula – Sauda]

Mahmoud Ahmed Gebtout yehon fikren MA

Massive thanks to MitMitta music for supplying us with another winner from Mahmoud Ahmed. Built up around a thriving beat, majestic horn section and a great poppy chorus, it sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1974.  We are thrilled to hear that Mahmoud Ahmed is still around and performing. Next 45 update comes from Tanzania. Stay tuned!   [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Mahmoud-Ahmed-Gebtout-yehon-fikren.mp3|titles=Mahmoud Ahmed – Gebtout yehon fikren]

Mahmoud Ahmed Yefikir Wuha Temu MA

So it wouldn’t be long before we featured our first Ethiopian Track. Big thanks to our man Vemund in Addis for sorting out a trade.  Mahmoud Ahmed a veteran on the  Ethiopian scene for nearly five decades delivers here a great mellow soulful performance, backed up with a great rhodes lick and horn section by the Dahlack Band. Oozing with excellence and released on his own private label Mahmoud TV & Radio house. Again we’d love to hear the meaning of the lyrics, please post if you have something to share. [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Mahmoud-Ahmed-Yefikir-Woha-Temu.mp3]

Uppers Chapter two Samari Bolga Polydor

We hit the first day of 2012 with this brilliant track from The Uppers hailing from Ghana. Unfortunately we don’t have much information on them except their former band name was Uppers International and they released a couple of singles on Polydor. With a mellow groove, keys, funky drumming and a jazzy trumpet and tenor-sax solo the scarce 2.50 track-time will have you wanting more. Also we’d love to know what the lyrics are in English, post a reply if you can translate.  [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Uppers-chapter-two-Samari-bolga.mp3|titles=Uppers chapter two – Samari bolga]

Orch Sombo Sombo Sombo Sombo Tsavo

Happy X-MAS to all our followers! Here is a track on the polygram subsidiary label Tsavo. For those of you who are familiar with the name your reference might be the Kenya  national parks; Tsavo east and west. Although the name has a more dreadful meaning in Kikamba, check the facts on Wikipedia.  This Lingala track from Orchester Sombo Sombo is all about joy and has all the right ingredients for a party number. A great guitar lick, dirty horns and cool vocals! Enjoy! See you in 2012! [audio:http://afroseven.net/songs/Orch-Sombo-sombo-sombo-sombo.mp3]

TsavoA) Orchestra Sombo Sombo ‘Sombo Sombo’

Orch Conga Internationale Nakupenda Sana Ed. Nana

Johnny Bokelo, the counterpart of Congos renowned Franco Luambo had a belt of labels and groups during the seventies and eighties. Like many other Congolese musicians he went to Kenya to finance and release his music. In this case, the song “Nakupenda Sana” is sung in Swahili, meaning again “I love you ..” A tight guitar lick, thematic horns with a neat breakdown. Somewhat reminiscent of a Manu Dibango tune. If you heard it before it was booted with a bogus name on a French 70’ties lp called Kouloukoko du Zairie.

Editions NanaB) Conga Internationale ‘Nakupenda Sana’

The Eagles band Nyumba imepigwa na radi African Eagles

buyI’m wondering if this group is the same group as the Eagles lupopo, if anyone have any information please let us know. The track is credited Yusuf Omar and Suddy Mohamed. Lupopo released several singles on the same African Eagles label so there must be some connection. I’m loving the sax work on this track, it opens up with a traditional romantic lingala flow and goes uptempo with a cool nearly free sax solo at the end. Definitely a standout!

African Eagles RecordingA) Eagles Band ‘Nyumba Imepigwa Na Radi’

Izile Topoke Butu pt1&2 Bana Moja

Here is a tune that is fairly easy to find if you scouting eBay regularly. One of the coolest artistic label designs, and a definite standout when you are digging through hundreds of 45’s. The music is a powerhouse of a lingala tune, starts in usual traditional style and  slowly builds up with a killer guitar lick and a restless horn section. Brilliant! A pity the pressing is a bit low-fi. Check out Izile Topoke – Butu pt1  And if you can’t enough of that our in-house DJ BAZ has made an exclusive EDIT of the track cutting the best part aimed straight for the floor. Download high quality .MP3 and .WAV files here!

AlmasiA&B) Topoke ‘Butu’

Green Rovers Band Utapendwa na nani/Masikini

The Green rovers, a band that released several 45’s with some of Kenyas biggest labels. One of their better tracks is this very righteous take with the AIT subsidiary label Moto Moto.  A cool baseline hook with a sweet vocal chorus and an underlying synth line. Even the drummer get’s his due in the cue!  ‘Dynamite’ indeed. Over to the translation section, Masikini means in Swahili “unfortunate”  The message of the song is be grateful for what you have, don’t try to get more on behalf of other people. Then you heart is black. And that message still packs a punch today, 33 years later. Enjoy!

Moto MotoA) Green Rovers Band ‘Masikini’

Orc. Bimalee – ‘Asia pt 1 & 2’ Umoja

The small Umoja label only released this and two other singles as documented on the great KenTanziaVinyl site. Dug up by Sweden’s own tropical master digger Rickard Masip. A cool synth line sets the pace with a nice vocal harmony effort. And wait until the horn section let’s loose. Great track. In Swahili Umoja means togetherness. And ironically the text of the songs is not about the continent, it’s about a guy who has lost his love. “Asia you’ve done bad things, you have scared me and given me sorrow. Why did you leave?”

A) Orch. Bimalee ‘Asia pt.1 ‘WRC

Bahari boys ‘Bado tu/Msinzili’ Bahari

buyKenyas answer to beach boys!  Bahari in Swahili means ocean and what a great label it is! One of those us label nerds drool over. A private press where the name of the band is the same as the label. Great logo graphics too. The song is sung in the Bantu language, with a traditional twist is has nice melody and a great “happy” vocal feel. Kikamba music is known for their catchy vocal efforts. This tune has really grown on me and has become one of my favs. Check out Bahari boys – Msinzili and hold your horses when the conga and fuzz guitar breakdown hits you near the end. We have no clue what they are singing about so if can translate anything be sure to leave a comment.

Mombasa RootsB) Bahari Boys ‘Msinzili’

Bernard Ntone ‘Mussoloki’ ASL

Sometimes you find something special, this is one of those tunes. Funky base, a nice guitar lick and a crazy cool vocal effort. It has this melancholy vibe. I bet he is singing about a lost girl or a failed marriage.  Pressed on the prolific east African ASL label that had signed a wealth of artists from Congo to Tanzania. Focusing on Lingala and rumba music. Mr. Ntone however originates from Cameroon that also explains the French Fiesta label release of the identical tune. All in all a top notch track for a DJ’s who wants to spice up their selection.

B) Bernard Ntone ‘Mussoloki’ASL

Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali Sina Raha/Hayes Mawazo

We open this blog with a 45 I found in Linkoni outside Mombasa Kenya in 2007. It was stored by a woman who had a coastal distribution business of recorded music back in seventies and eighties. There was shitloads of 45’s there all stacked in three meter towers. I only had a few hours so I grabbed out about 10 singles and headed back on the ferry over to the mainland. Sorting out my find later that day I realized I had found something special. Since 2007 this track has been featured in several mixes so the cat is out of the bag so to speak. If you haven’t heard it yet it’s a quality double sider from the coastal province of Swahili land Kenya. Fused with Arabic elements and a genuine funk twist supplied by maestro Slim Ali himself. Check out the tracks. B) Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali ‘Sina Raha’ and ‘Hayes Mawazo’ We also hope that you check out our blog in the future as there will be new Kenyan 45’s added every week!

A) Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali ‘Hayesh Mawazo’
B) Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali ‘Sina Raha’ WRC