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’