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]
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’|
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
|A) Orchestra Sombo Sombo ‘Sombo Sombo’|
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.
|B) Conga Internationale ‘Nakupenda Sana’|
I’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!
|A) Eagles Band ‘Nyumba Imepigwa Na Radi’|
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!
|A&B) Topoke ‘Butu’|
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!
|A) Green Rovers Band ‘Masikini’|
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 ‘|
Kenyas 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.
B) Bahari Boys ‘Msinzili’
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’|
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’