Soundway Records putting out compilation of obscure East African recordings, Kenya Special; edutainment never sounded so good

Soundway Records putting out compilation of obscure East African recordings, Kenya Special; edutainment never sounded so good

Personally, I can never diversify my musical tastes enough. The more music I listen to, the more I become interested, and the more I consume. It’s a vicious cycle, to be honest. The music world feeds and feeds off that kind of obsession today; endless sampling, mashing together of genres, sounds, and instrumentation, all constantly drawing from the past to shape the future. What happens when we throw drone and folk in the same pot? What would result from smashing a dance cassette and a noise cassette and splicing them together (erm…maybe)?

Point being, the world of music is damn vast, confusing, and disorienting right now (in a beautiful way, really) and it’s only getting more so. Which is where things like Soundway Records’ Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s and ‘80s come into the picture. It’s one of those lovely (and thankfully increasingly prevalent) oversized collections of previously obscure oddities/treasures that’s tearing around the past and grabbing whatever it can to illuminate the present. Some of this stuff remains interestingly prescient too; check out the mix of dance rhythms and often frantic electric guitar work on the Benga tracks. Just goes to prove that genre-screwing was just as prevalent in the 70s. Makes one wonder what kind of rarities collections might have been released back then. Unearthing the past to fuel and possibly elucidate the present: always a damn good thing.

Kenya Special tracklist:

01. The Loi-Toki-Tok Band - Ware Wa
02. The Rift Valley Brothers - Mu Africa
03. Slim Ali & The Famous Hodi Boys - Watoto Nyara
04. The Mombasa Vikings - Mama Matotoya
05. The Lulus Band - Ngwendeire Guita
06. Mbiri Young Stars - Ndiri Ndanogio Niwe
07. Gatanga Boys Band - Wendo Ti Mbia
08. Orchestre Vévé Star - Nitarudia
09. Hafusa Abasi & Slim Ali with The Yahoos Band - Sina Raha
10. DO 7 Band - H.O. Ongili
11. New Gatanga Sound - Thoni Na Caki
12. The Lulus Band - Nana
13. Nashil Pichen & The Eagles Lupopo - Ng’ong’a Wa Mwanjalo
14. Orchestre Baba National - Sweet Sweet Mbombo
15. Afro 70 - Cha-Umheja
16. Peter Tsotsi Juma & The Eagles Lupopo - Kajo Golo - Weka
17. The Lulus Band - Mutumia Muriu
18. Sophia Ben & The Eagles Lupopo - See Serere
19. The Loi-Toki-Tok Band - Leta Ngoma
20. Orchestre Super Volcano - Mngeni Mali Yare Yore
21. The Rift Valley Brothers - Tiga Kurira
22. Kalambya Boys - Kivelenge
23. Huruma Boys Band - Teresia
24. Gatanga Boys Band - Keep Change Kairitu
25. The Famous Nyahururu Boys - Mwendwa
26. The Eagles Lupopo - Pelekani
27. Ndalani 77 Brothers - Nzaumi
28. Afro 70 - Afrousa (Move On)
29. Nairobi Matata Jazz - Tamba Tamba
30. Kiratu And His Group - Yanagiria Kayo
31. Afro 70 - Week End
32. The Mombasa Vikings - Kibe Kibe

• Soundway:

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