Thursday, 17 June 2010

Kurdish Shred Music

The Saz is a hugely popular instrument all across Turkey, i played one once and i fucking sucked at it - turns out that's because i can't SHRED. The Kurds can shred though, and its amazing. Most Saz music is pretty boring, but the Kurds seem to like distortion pedals and having three drummers. THREE. That's as many as slipknot.

Check this out, Bismilli Ceto (Shred) and Hozan Muzaffer (Hollering) playing what i think is a traditional song because ive heard other versions of it. It is awesome.

Now check out Grani Tufan busting out some palm muting and endless shred ontop of a sick beat.

Finally, this is wedding music apparently. I hope my wedding is like this. Super repetitive, super distorted, super shred. I think this is Grani Tufan too.

What i'm trying to get across here is that Kurds can SHRED. And it is so good.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Kenyan Country and Western music

I know a lot of people who really hate Country music. Really hate it. More than they hate Trance. More than they hate dudes with ponytails and sandals. True, deep seated, overwhelming, musical hatred. Turns out, none of those people are Kenyan. I mean, look at this guy - does he look like he hates Country?

No. No he does not. He looks like he really really likes country.

He likes it so much, that he makes music like this:

Joseph Kamaru by Dream Beach Records

That is Joseph Kamaru, a Kikuyu musician who is a big deal in Kenyan music - just check out his wikipedia entry for the lowdown on his tumultous 40+ year career. Though its fair to say that most of his stuff is nowhere near this blatantly Country influenced, theres definitely a strong current of Americana running through his stuff.

Apparently this shit is huge in Kenya, lots of bands in cowboy hats busting out Nashville guitar lines. Look up Mugithi or Kamaru on Youtube for more of this, its pretty amazing to hear the mixture of Kenyan drums and singing with such hugely American guitar lines.

Huge thanks to Colin Crowley for the hook up here, that guy knows his Kenyan Country music.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Agyeman Opambuo

If you're looking to find African music in London, i recommend heading down to Dalston market and hitting up every shop that isnt selling offal. As well as all the amazing Nigerian film stalls selling Fuji and Hip Life music along with the DVDs there are a good handful of shops covered in flags selling music from all across Africa. This track is by Agyeman Opambuo, and i got ripped off buying it from the Ghanaian shop halfway through the market. I had to haggle the guy down from £15 for what is basically a CDR, but it was worth it because the music is genuinely amazing. If you're going to go into Dalston market looking for African music, get ready to get laughed at a lot. and ripped off. a lot. But when the dudes aren't laughing at you or fleecing you, they seem genuinely excited that some moron hipster is interested in their music. I've encountered nothing but good vibes, offers of tea and high fives when going into these shops - its an awesome experience and you get to have a bunch of people playing you their favourite tunes whilst looking super bemused.

From what i can tell Agyeman Opambuo was a pretty big deal in Ghana. The music is so weird tonally and the sounds are so subtle and groovy that i think its worth the download. Did i just say groovy? thats not ok. sorry.

Agyeman Opambuo - Woagye Aboso by Dream Beach Records

Here's a link to a post about him with more music from Highlife Haven

Anyway, this is rad and that little cheap synth happening all the way through is one of the best things ever.

Booyah. etc.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Luanda Doho Jazz Band

Thought I'd put up another track I've ripped from my 7"s, this time from an awesome Luo band called Luanda Doho Jazz Band. Again, I can't seem to find anything about them on the internet at all - maybe I'm just horribly inefficient at research. What i do know is that they were a Kenyan band from the Western Province playing Luo-based Benga music. The guitars are all over the place and the guitarists play over each other throughout the whole track. The singing is rough and verges on out of tune, the fidelity is low and its super repetitive, so basically - its amazing.

I'm only posting the a-side because the b-side is basically identical, I've got a couple more 7"s from this label and they're all pretty great so i'll upload them at some point.

I should also make clear that these tracks I'm uploading have nothing to do with Dream Beach Records, we're not releasing them or anything, just some cool hard to find stuff for you to check out

Luanda Doho Jazz Band - Rose Mary Mugoya

Anyhooey, i'll upload more soon, no diggity.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

First DBR post - Orchestra Gem Lucky Friends

So this is the first posting on the Dream Beach blog, and i'm damned excited.

Dream Beach Records has been set up to release raw sounding modern underground music from Africa in super limited runs. We're not a big deal, and the people who we release probably aren't going to be playing the Barbican or Jools Holland any time soon, but they are going to be awesome. All we're hoping for is that this little label can go a small way towards making punk and indie kids want to buy records by Kenyan or Ugandan artists, just like they'd buy records by a bunch of hipster dorks from London or LA.

This isn't "world music", this is just awesome music.

So to celebrate the first posting on the Dream Beach blog i thought i'd put this up for download. This is a Kenyan Benga record from - im guessing - sometime in the mid 70s. The only mention i've found of them on the internet is in a list of Kenyan releases associated with Daniel Misiani and Shirati Jazz, seems these dudes were on a compilation with them. So with no information save for the awesome music, here's the a and b side to this record.

Orchestra Gem Lucky Friends - Rispher Adero by Dream Beach Records
Orchestra Gem Lucky Friends - Joseph Oloo by Dream Beach Records