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Nyamwari Band 'Robert Nyamgwono' Mwamo Gusii

Kisii tribe AbaGusii or more common Kisii people are a tribe located on the western parts of Kenya near Lake Victoria. This single showcases straight from the roots benga in luo tradition, bouncy tempo with drive and the guitarist shifting dynamics gives the track a certain cosmic appeal. The release also goes into A. P Chandaranas treasure trove of Kenyan and Tanzanian released music. The label was distributed from the small town of Kericho. If anyone can enlighten us with identification of the platter object shown on the label we’d be delighted.

A) Shem Onderi & Nyamwari Band ‘Robert Nyamgwono’
B) Shem Onderi & Nyamwari Band ‘Ebisio Bia Byasae’

Kahurika Brothers 'Muka Wa Mikora' Eunice Harmonic

phoneFirst feature of 2014 is a doublesided Kikuyu Disco burner. Private production by Jimmy Wa Eunice distributed by Centre Music store Nairobi. Steady beat with little variation, it’s the stone hard groove and the basic but very infectious melody line that sets the mark. Guitarist steps it up a notch and starts his improvisation in the last part. Turn the single around and you have another track that is just as good as the first one. If anyone have any information about the producer or the band, or the record store for that matter please leave a comment.

Eunice Harmonic SoundsA) Kahurika Brothers ‘Muka Wa Mikora’
B) Kahurika Brothers ‘Kairitu Roiko’

Slim Ali 'Papa's Land' WRC

callcenterWith a good dose of Reggae and Eddy Grant’s magic touch, Nigerian born Sonny Okusun had a big international hit in 79 with the political fueled ‘Fire in the Soweto’.  2 years earlier he had released ‘Papas land’ a key Africa record that had impact spanning from west to east. Kenyans own pop star Slim Ali’s version features great horns, wah-wah, moog, and sassy vocals .. this is the version I personally come back to. Released on the mystical World Records label, responsible for catering the Kenyan music market with domestic  artists but also acts ranging from pre-War Señor Soul to Kylie Minogue.

B) Slim Ali ‘Papa’s Land’WRC

Orc. Milimani Park 'Fitina Za Watu' M.N.R.

moshiFamous band from Tanzania, this release was before they changed their name to DDC Mlimani Park Orchestra after a sponsor deal. Notice the name typo done by the Kenyan label press. Read Werner Graebner excellent notes on the band over at East African Music.com This number translated to “Gossip among people” is a great showcase number; fluid rumbling backbone, fierce guitar interplay and fantastic horns. We’ve glued both parts together so you can hear the song in it’s entirely .. even put in the drop noise of the needle in the start. If you are curious about other releases on the label follow the label logo graphics on bottom right.

A&B) Orchestre Milimani Park ‘Fitina Za Watu’M.N.R

The African Pioneers 'My Loving Sister' Eclipse

joekadenge

Anyone who is interested, and ready for a short history brief in last century’s Kenyan music scene should read Doug Paterson’s excellent introduction notes to Soundway’s compilation Kenya Special. Doug makes a point about Kenyan bands being tuned in to international sounds around, and The African Pioneers ‘My Loving Sister is a great example. First off, it’s a weeding song, not a very uncommon feature in East African matrimonial celebrations. But this one is sung in English. A punchy guitar riff with a nice catchy melody, and the arrangements takes some quirky  turns and leaps that adds to the appeal. Enjoy!

A) African Pioneers ‘My Loving Sister’eclipse

Sunbust 'Black is Beautiful’ Moto Moto

kenyabooksMOTO MOTO, a subsidiary label of A.I.T records, a Kenyan distribution source for Tanzanian bands. Acts like Orchestra Dar International, Vijana Jazz, Jamhuri Jazz Band and Urafiki are frequently featured. Check out our sales selection for a roundup with audio snippets. If you have special interest check out the book  on the subject of Tanzanian popular music written by Alex Perullo. We feature a 45 that was dug up by extraordinaire French digger and DJ Grégoire de Villanova.  A great funky doublesider with kick ass guitar, heavy organ and drums in the mix. Some are put off by the slightly mannered vocals, but we think it rocks just as hard .. black black is beautiful indeed! Psst! If your destined to find the song on vinylt there is is also a slightly cheaper French RCA pressing.

Moto MotoA) Sunbust ‘Let’s Live Together’
B) Sunbust ‘Black is Beautiful’
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