An excursion to the Balkans, ok. Cross culture:
Hmm... six weeks in Lagos - must be a cool place!
Remember the reggae/pop band Third World? They weren't so bad really.
Anyway, after our summer holiday in the Balkans, maybe it's time to go and get our driver out of that Lagos nightclub and back on the road? Africa's a huge place!
How about heading for Central Africa and Congo, the home of Soukous and Rumba Congolaise? Some great music there, but on the way we pass through Cameroon, the home of Richard Bona, the great jazz bass player who hasn't forgotten where he came from.
Honestly did not know about Third World, sounds good indeed. Ok, some songs I heard already.
Cameroon is also known for Manu Dibango, some funky sounds again.
Soul Makossa, this one is probably the most known of him. Makossa is also a kind of regional music that he mixed up with Jazz and Funk sounds:
And some Saxo-Reggae:
He is very well established among the guys we already know like Fela Kuti and Youssou N'Dour e.g.
Enjoy some more:
We got to Kinshasa!
Another great music centre of Africa - the home of Rumba Congolaise and Soukous.
First, a sample: one of the great guitar players, Grand Maitre Franco:
It starts slow and easy, but gradually builds up momentum with horn riffs and Franco's jangling guitar. This isn't "lead guitar" as I used to think of it - distortion and feedback - but after you get used to the repeated riffs and interlocking phrases it's pretty nice.
Back around 1983 or so when I first heard Sunny Ade, a friend lent me the "Sound d'Afrique" album. This was quite different from the psychedelic JuJu groove and sounded quite poppy, but it's happy enjoyable stuff. Here's a track, this guy also from Congo:
Also around that time I was looking in out local second-hand record shop and found 3 african albums in the Sale bin, really cheap! Two were from ivory Coast, and one from Congo. They're all pretty good, but the Congo guy is called Kiese Diambu. I couldn't find anything from that album, but here's a song with Franco's band:
The Congo sound spread all over Africa in the '80s - happy dance music!
Another two famous guys, Kanda Bongo Man
and Papa Wemba
This stuff doesn't have accoustic "roots" - it started right out with electric instruments, but recently there's been a band called Kekele who do an accoustic version of Rumba Congolaise. Their album "Congo Life" was very nice. Try this:
you are the reason I post here again after a one-month holiday Thank you for posting these things, most of us probably would have never found these pieces. Franco's song is what I call a real ostinato, and I'm pretty sure the melody will follow me through the whole day :sigh:
My best wishes to you, and have a good chili harvest Over here the temperature has dropped and it feels more like late autumn. This year I haven't planted chilis, because my BH's mother mass-produced an extremely spicy lajiaojiang with black beans and garlic
Is it just me, or are there strong ties between the Congo music and Caribbean steel drum music? Sounds very similar to my ear.
I'm a moderator here. How are we doing? Feedback is encouraged.
@machinebacon Good to see you, friend!
Glad you liked Franco - I guess he was known as the Great Master for a reason...
( Here it's still pretty hot and humid in the daytime - the only hint of Autumn is the angle of the sun. The chillis seem to be doing well. Is lajiaojiang a relative of 豆板醤? )
@pvsage Of course if you go back far enough the roots (or rhythmic roots at least) of Caribbean music are in Africa. But in [no]this[/no] the last century there was a huge Cuban music boom which started in Congo and spread all over the continent. So I guess it wouldn't be too surprising to hear similarities between Congo pop and the calypso rhythms of the Caribbean.
(edit: er... this isn't the 20th century any more I guess )
Last edited by johnraff (2012-09-15 06:00:46)
From the streets of Kinshasa:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feat … WTjIfnPcPs
Thanks for all the great music!
Lately, I've been really loving the Ethiopian soul sound of the 1960's and 70's. Buda Musique has released something like 26 cds worth of the stuff ("Ethiopiques"). Great!
@johnraff I just found a c.1989 Franco LP the other day and have been enjoying it. Looking forward to checking out more of his music.
I also found a few 78 rpm records of Trinidadian calypso from the 1930's including this one by The Lion:
Loads of great music in this thread--wish I more time to be listening!
"Ten thousand people shouting the same thing makes it false--even if it happens to be true." - Søren Kierkegaard
Is lajiaojiang a relative of 豆板醤?
Yes, I should have used the characters: 辣椒醤 - the main difference is the amount of fermented beans vs. the chilis. There are many variations, here in the South I found an extremely spicy 辣椒醤 which contained mango, garlic and yellow chilis. I suppose this was the spiciest jiang I ever had (supposedly due to the addition of mashed garlic), very close to a jiang made from the Yellow Lantern cultivar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainan_Yel … tern_Chili) At a certain level of spiciness there are barely any differences
Generally, south of the Yellow River the taste buds get an unfair treatment
@disfarmer I love Ethiopian music! I haven't got any of those Ethiopiques records but a few years ago a DJ here was playing stuff off them and it sounded really good. Some of those artists are still recording, Ethio-jazz is fascinating, of course Mahmoud Ahmed is fantastic... Anyway, when we've tavelled down to South Africa and up the east coast we'll get back to north Africa and I hope we can stop in Addis for a while. With any luck Ivan will be with us then because he knows a lot more about north African music than I do.
<rant>btw I strongly resist the attempt to force us to refer to the fruits as "chile" because Americans have taken the name of the plant for a dish. 'chile' is Spanish, 'chili' is English.
@machinebacon Mango chilli paste sounds alright! That Yellow Lantern must be a close relative of the Habanero - which I grow, more for the novelty value than because I can use it in Asian food at all. Habaneros do, however, have a fantastic aroma if you can get round the heat...
So you're in the south of Sichuan, near the borders with Laos/Thailand/Burma? It sounds like a fascinating area I'd like to visit some day.
here's my favorite spice for the global music soup:
...those even made a real video:
this has helped me survive in this mad world for years now.
Last edited by ohnonot (2012-12-17 13:06:55)
...no reason why a trip shouldn't be slow...
The Africa bus has now stopped in Angola, on its way down the west coast heading for South Africa.
To be honest, I knew very little about Angolan music, except that being in the Portuguese-speaking sphere it might be interesting, but a look at the Wikipedia fills in some gaps and gives you some genre names to google for.
I found this Kizomba radio station: http://yp.shoutcast.com/sbin/tunein-sta … ?id=639135
and a Kuduro podcast; http://kuduro.podomatic.com/rss2.xml
Our friend Likembe has some Angolan music too: http://likembe.blogspot.jp/search/label/Angola
It all sounds quite good in fact.
South Africa of course is full of great musicians, so we'll get down there before long...
Theorbo - Wikipedia
Besides what the Wikipedia describes about this instrument, the theorbo can be looked at as part the lute family. I like to think of the lutist as a locksmith and most own more than one in different ranges; alto, tenor, bass lutes. It becomes more complicated than that as plucked stringed instruments from the Baroque period have reëntrant tuning . On top of that, sheet music—for plucked string instruments of the time—wasn't standardized and one must learn to read the music in French and Italian styles.
Caveat: French Theorbo Music
French Theorbo Music
In good baroque fashion, you here this performer using MANY ornaments: mordents, trills etc..
Last edited by junkie (2013-01-13 23:05:55)
Guy Buttery from South Africa - using staccato rhythm and slow, quiet build-ups into complex part that could very well sound like two or more instruments. (bandcamp link in the video description)
And this band named Sugardrive that I loved watching.
Oops - nearly forgot to visit the pygmies of the Ituri forest in northern Congo. (Map)
First heard some pygmy music on a cassette a friend gave me maybe 20 years ago, and it's great, and justifiably famous. Search Youtube for many examples, but here's one:
Hope you like it!