Saturday, 17 February 2018

Music From Sudan and Egypt 2011 in Austria

On to an area which has not much (only once) been visited here. The Tour of Africa pt.2 ended in Ethiopia after having passed through Sudan, now let's go from there along the Nile all the way up the Egyptian coast at the Mediterranean Sea.

Abdel Gadir Salim (from Sudan) and El Tanbura (from Egypt)
2011.Jul.30 at Glatt & Verkehrt Festival in Krems, Austria
source: Glatt & Verkehrt 2011 - Ein Rückblick

Abdel Gadir Salim (from Sudan)

Abdel Gadir Salim is a folk singer and bandleader from Sudan. He is one of the most well-known Sudanese singers in the West, having performed around the world and recorded in many nations including England.
Salim was born in the village of Dilling, Kordofan province, amidst the Nuba Mountains in the west of Sudan approximately in the 1950s. Salim trained in both European and Arabic music at the Institute of Music in Khartoum, beginning with Oud at the behest of a friend. By 1971 he changed from composing urban-styled music to country tunes. Seeking out traditional and colloquial songs to perform, he began in his native Kordofan and Darfur. Rarely writing his own lyrics, the songs he finds range from politically-aware, educational arguments to love ballads. Salim is noted for maintaining a neutral repertoire that keeps him from irritating the Islamic government of Sudan.
Many of Salim’s rhythms come from traditional, such as wedding, dances, often in strident 6/8 beats. Some of the beats, from desert areas, are modeled after the gait of camels. His sonorous voice, influenced by Egyptian styles, comes often in a long, steady croon. Often his music is called ‘Egyptian Pop.’
Salim’s lyrics, and the English interpretations thereof, give valuable insight to Sudanese culture. One song, called Al-Lemoni, compares a beautiful woman to a lemon. The record jacket explains that the Sudanese refer to their skin color as green as opposed to black or brown. Therefore to compare a woman to a lemon is poetic flattery. Jeenaki, or “The Return of Geese,” describes how the sight of geese is a welcome indication of rain in the desert of river-scarce Sudan, where flocks of geese alight to drink from pools.
Salim performs solo at times, though most often with his group, the All-Stars. Hamid Osman Abdalla, the saxophonist, comes from Dilling as well.
Salim shared duties in his careers as international performer and as headmaster of a school in Chad between at least the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s. According to a statement on the back of his album Nujum Al-Lail (Stars in the Night) (1989, Globe Style, UK), the two careers harmonize without strain.

El Tanbura (from Egypt)

El Tanbura are a collective of veteran Egyptian master musicians, singers, fishermen and philosophers. For the past seventeen years they’ve been custodians of some of Egypt’s oldest folk melodies at their home in Port Said, the Mediterranean gateway to the Suez Canal.
No one knows the exact origins of the Simsimiyya. One Egyptian legend tells how the first instrument was fashioned from the shell of an unfortunate turtle that had swum too far along the Nile and ended up as dinner for a hungry musician. Other stories say the Simsimiyya has existed for centuries in the Arabian Gulf, and her music (the lyre is always referred to as feminine and her players as lovers) has the ability to calm the waters of the Red Sea. Another folk tale attributes her origins to a mysterious enchanting Siren who slowly seduces both the lover and the audience with mesmerising melodies derived from ancient exorcism rituals.
We do know that the instrument only arrived in Port Said during the 1930s; much to the frustration of the local Suhbagiyya (musicians) who had previously enjoyed the undivided attention of local audiences with Damma songs - a fusion of Sufi inspired vocal chants and frenzied drumming. It was only after the Suez Crisis of 1956 that Dama and Simsimiyya musicians embraced both repertoires. The War drew the former rivaling musicians together as the Simsimiyya provided a voice for the resistance movement through protest songs; a tradition that continued in the subsequent War of 1967 and exile of the people of Port Said during the Israeli occupation of Sinai. In exile, the diaspora communities would gather and sing the old songs reminding them of home.
In the 1950s Zakaria Ibrahim, El Tanbura’s founder, first heard the Suhbagiyya in Port Said as a young boy. The music he heard as a child haunted him all of his adult life and, on returning to Port Said in 1980, and seeing the desperate musical conditions, he spent nine years seeking out the old masters and building friendships, trying to convince the musicians to perform once again. And El Tanboura group was born.
At first, news of the group’s rehearsals drew scorn and ridicule from the commercial musicians; however the infectious atmosphere of the initial performances convinced others with an interest in Sufi philosophy and the pre-War traditions of Port Said to join the floating collective of El Tanbura’s members.
Over time, the band grew to include not only folk musicians and percussionists, but dancers and singers drawn from local fishermen, market traders and builders, alongside the unlikely addition of master instrumentalists from some of the State-approved music troupes who were desperate to perform with others who had a vibrancy of spirit and to play long-forgotten songs from antiquity - praising something other than the government approved subjects.
Band members dress in an eclectic mix of gallibiyas and Levis with Gucci sunglasses, fez and Nike caps. Their music is driven by the seductive call of the Simsimiyya. They perform regularly in Port Said and at Masrah El Damma in downtown Cairo.
More about El Tanbura in the Media:
*2006.Oct.17: El Tanbura - Egyptian folk music at its best -
*2017.Nov.24: Celebrating three decades of folk band El Tanbura -

Listen to a track by El Tanbura:

SALIM, ABDEL GADIR and EL TANBURA - 20110730 Festival Austria (R6-ORF)

Abdel Gadir Salim Band:
1.Stars of the Night / 2.Gota Nagany (I Want to Sing) / 3.Gedreschine (Small Girl)
El Tanbura:
1.Lover of Art* / 2.25 January (revolution song) / 3.Laly

Both recorded 2011.Jul.30 by ORF at Glatt & Verkehrt Festival in Krems, Austria
Both broadcasted 2012.Aug.04-11 by Dutch Radio 6 VPRO in De Zaterdagavond
note: *has some 10sec.distortion at ca.3min (from the original broadcast/recording)

Request: I suppose there are more recordings made of these performers at that festival, and most likely broadcasted also by Austrian and/or other European radio stations. If anybody has those, I am very interested... (so please write in comments)

Discography of Abdel Gadir Salim:
only international realeses, local K7s and vinyl unknown and/or unreadable (for me at least)
1987: Sounds of Sudan Vol.1 - Songs from Kordofan (LP)
1989: Nujum al-Lail - Stars of the Night (LP/CD)
1990: VA - Sounds Of Sudan (CD) - 3 tracks by Abdel Gadir Salim - bandcamp
1991: The Merdoum Kings Play Songs of Love (CD) - bandcamp
1999: Le Blues de Khartoum (CD)
2005: Ceasefire (with Emmanuel Jal) (CD)

Discography El Tanbura:
1999: La Simsimiyya de Port Said (CD)
2002: Noh El Hamam (K7)
2003: Ahwa Qamar (CD/K7)
2006: Between the Desert and the Sea (CD) - bandcamp
2009: Friends of Bamboute - 20th Anniversary Edition (CD) - bandcamp
2013: January 26th (CD)


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba - 2015.May.06 Muhlheim a.d.Ruhr

Some more recent live recording now. I thought I hadn't posted anything from Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba yet. But after having prepared this post, found out that I featured them before together with Tamikrest.

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba (source: theater-an-der-ruhr)
For biography and discography best head over to their entry at Frank Bessem's Musiques d'Afrique and a pre-Ngoni Ba biography written in 2004 at mali-music (archived by

Listen to a track

KOUYATE BASSEKOU 20150506 - Mulheim ad Ruhr - WDR3

Setlist: 1.Te Dunia Laban / 2.Abé Sumaya / 3.Ayé Sira Bla / interview / 4.Jama Ko / interview / 5.Siran Fen / 6.Poyi / 7.Ngoni Fola / Band Presentation / 8.Waati / 9.Kanjko / 10.Ne Me Fatigue Pas / 11.Tama Jam / 12.Ngoni Jam with Guantanamera

Recorded 2015.May.06, Theater a.d.Ruhr, Muhlheim a.d.Ruhr, Germany
Broadcasted 2015.May.21, German radio, WDR 3 Konzert 20-22hr


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Dr.Oloh & His Milo Jazz Band - Peel Session 1991.Oct.10

Just before the weekend I catched the flue (or the flue catched me). So wasn't able nor feeling for posting some more music. Now in the last days of getting better started checking other blogs and the lastest entry on Wallahi Le Zein! gave me the idea for this post.

Short bio from wiki
Israel Olorunfeh Cole, commonly known by his stage name Dr. Oloh, was born on 1944 March 20 in the mountain village of Leicester, near Freetown in the Western Area of Sierra Leone to a Nigerian mother and a Creole father. He was a Sierra Leonean afropop and Jazz musician and led a band known as Milo Jazz. Dr Oloh is widely considered as one of the biggest musicians from Sierra Leone. His hit singles were very popular in Sierra Leone in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. He was awarded the OR (Order of Rokel) by the Sierra Leonean Government in 1989. Dr.Oloh and his band toured the UK a couple of times, during those tours they recorded several sessions for BBC Radio (for sure 2-times for John Peel; and may be for Andy Kershaw). Dr.Oloh died 2007 October 13 after a short illness.

Extended Biographies and tributes to Dr.Oloh (after his death in 2007) - standardtimespressawokothepatrioticvanguard (republished 2017.Feb)

Listen to a track from Peel Session #2 (rec.1992.Sep.03)

DR OLOH 19911010 Peel Session BBC

Peel Session #1 rec.1991.Oct.10 - bc.1991.Nov.09 - rpt.1991.Dec.29
tracklist: 1.Cobbah Me* / 2.Yawohammi* / 3.Aleluyah Tumbay* / 4.Ajuba*
source: recording of 1991.Dec.29 BBC Radio 1 John Peel Show (full session)
stream of repeat 2017.Oct.10 BBC 6music - Live Hour (tracks 1/3/4)

Line-up: Mohammed Dean - tempo bass drum, backing vocals / Mohammed Kamara - bass drums, backing vocals) / Abdul Bangura - bass drums, backing vocals / Sineh Konika - lead drums / Brima Kamara - tenor drums / Alie Kamara - triangles, backing vocals / Dr.Oloh - lead vocals

Bonustrack: 3.Balua of Peel Session #2 (rec.1992.Sep.03)

More about Dr Oloh & His Milo Jazz Band


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 28 January 2018

John Chibadura - 1991.Aug.08 - BBC Radio 1 Session

At the end of last year around the time of the happenings in Zimbabwe I was thinking about posting (again), well didn't come to it then, and only restarted a little later during the Christmas period.

John Chibadura (left) with Bata “Manyowa” Sinoio (source: thestandard)
Therefore now finally (again) a post with music from Zimbabwe. Last year was posted John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers' one and only Peel Session from 1989, this time a BBC session from 2 years later. Most likely it's a session recorded for Andy Kershaw, that would be their 2nd session for his show, but couldn't find anywhere full confirmation of this.

For biography and discography of John Chibadura visit the mentioned previous post.

Listen to the first song from his 1989 Peel Session

CHIBADURA-JOHN-19910808_Kershaw Session BBC

BBC Radio1 Session recorded 1991.Aug.08 (for Andy Kershaw?!?), unknown
tracklist: 1.Kunatsa Hama / 2.Lovemore / 3.Hosana / 4.Zuva Refuka
source: repeat 2017.Aug.16 in BBC 6music Live Hour

More about John Chibadura & Tembo Brothers: 

  • My Music: Andy Kershaw
    Question: What is the best record you have ever bought on impulse?
    Kershaw: John Chibadura's $5000.
  • Andy Kershaw: "There isn't a guitarist in the West fit to fondle the plectrums of these guys [guitarists from Zimbabwe]." 
  • Andy Kershaw about John Chibadura in his book "No Off Switch - chapter 31 - Andy & Biggie in Zimbabwe" -  page 280/281
  • "John Chibadura & the Tembo Brothers" (tribute at Feile Africa
  • "On the road with John Chibadura" (2017.Aug.27, The Standard)


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Diblo Dibala And Matchatcha - 1994.Nov.19 - Peel & Kershaw Session #2

OK, now something really "out of the mangue box", nevertheless delicious...
Diblo Dibala guitarist from Congo (source: Peel Wikia)
Diblo Dibala, born in 1954 in Kisangani in the Congo (now Zaire), of the Baluba people, is one of the hottest African Soukous lead guitarists around. At the age of 6 Diblo moved to Kinshasa and by the age of 15 he was playing guitar in the great Franco's TPOK band. In Kinshasa, Diblo continued to master his lava-hot guitar chops with such top Zairean bands as Vox Africa, Orchestre Bella Mambo, and Bella Bella.
In 1979 Diblo left Zaire and landed in Brussels where he played a rented guitar and washed dishes to make money. In 1981 he moved to Paris, where the Soukous scene was a happening thing. He rejoined Kanda Bongo Man, who he had played with in Bella Bella. Their first album, Iyole (1981), was a big hit: Kanda became a big star, and Diblo became the most sought-after session man in Paris. Diblo's huge European success with Kanda Bongo Man led to the formation of his own band, Loketo (which means 'hips', as in 'shake your...'), featuring the work of the gifted vocalist Aurlus Mabele. By this time Diblo was the dominant Soukous session man in Paris and he was in great demand. On recordings by such Soukous giants as Kanda Bongo Man and Pepe Kalle you can hear them calling out "Diblo" when guitar solo time comes around. In 1990 Diblo left Loketo to form Matchatcha (which means "a type of flower that produces an itch").--Janet Planet, The African Music Encyclopedia
John Peel and Andy Kershaw, on learning Diblo was making an appearance at Stern's African Records, raced there to get his autograph. Diblo repaid the compliment by giving name checks to both of them on 'Matchatcha Wetu'.
  • "Another gig that I've been to in the recent past, and one of the very best that I've been to in my entire life, featured Matchatcha with the guitar player Diblo Dibala from Paris. I'm not a dancing man, to be perfectly honest with you, cos I haven't really got the figure for it, but on this particular occasion I was dancing away like nobody's business, and the high point of the entire magical evening came when he played a new song from the new LP, called O.K. Madame, and the song is called Matchatcha Wetu, and what is particularly significant about this, and this is egotistical of me, I admit it in advance, but if you listen very carefully to this record, one minute and fifteen seconds into it, Diblo goes "Andy Kershaw" (that's the name of one of my colleagues at the radio station I work for in London), BBC, John Peela." You have to listen very carefully to catch it, but believe me, to hear Diblo singing your name on stage is one of the greatest things that's happened to me in my entire life." --Peel Out In The States
all info sourced from:

Listen to Diblo Dibala - Afropop recording at 50:50min in the show:

DIBALA-DIBLO-19941119_Peel Kershaw BBC

Diblo Dibala And Matchatcha - 1994.Nov.19 - Kershaw & Peel Session #2
tracklist Peel: 1.Intro / 2.Lye (an interjection of happiness] / 3.Kangaroo (a dance) / 4.Destin*
tracklist Kershaw: 5.Fodi* (Zaire folk style) / 6.Oliva* (A Girl) / 7.Soupou* (A Soup) / ?.[probably unknow 4th track]
NOTE: only tracks marked * in download (hoping for others to show up...)

-Peel Session (1 track): bc.1995.Jan.14 Peel Show (taped and shared through Peel Group)
-Kershaw Session (3 tracks): rpt.2017.Mar.02, 6music Gideon Coe (captured HQ radio stream)

line-up during sessions:
  • Diblo Dibala - guitar
  • J.P. Kinzaki - rhythm guitar
  • Miguel Yamba - bass
  • Komba Bello Mafwala, Dely Mpeletu and David Mondoand  - vocals
  • Antoinette Yelessa and Joelle Esso - dancers

More Diblo Dibala


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Julien Dembélé - 2011.Jul.03 - Afrikafestival Hertme NL

Was going through not sorted files, looking for something 'out of the box' to post, and found a 2011 recording of Julien Dembélé, unknown to me, at the Afrikafestival in Hertme. Played it, liked it a lot, started searching info about him, and guess what, he's from Mali (so not so 'out of the manguetic box').
Julien Dembélé from the Bobo area in Mali (picture from maliweb)

Julien Dembélé was born in a Mandiakuy griot family, in the Bobo area, in the center of Mali. From an early age his father taught him to play the balafon and the n'goni. At the age of eight he got his first guitar that he learned to play himself. Later he learned to play also piano.
Julien devotes his life to music and plays in various orchestras. Nowadays he sings and accompanies himself on guitar. Together with a balafon player and a percussionist (on gourds) he plays regularly in the cultural center Santoro in Bamako. He is the author and composer of all his songs and sings in the Bambara and Bobo.
For the Afrikafestival he comes from Mali and plays together with musicians residing in the Netherlands Zou and Dra Diarra (formerly of Super Biton and Super Djata Band).
--translated from:

DEMBELE-JULIEN-20110703_Hertme R6

setlist: unknown, several songs flow into each other, so not split up into separate tracks (and no soundcloud to listen when downloading)
source: broadcast 2011.Aug.23 - Dutch Radio 6 - Radio 6 Live Show

More info about Julien Dembélé (found very little):

  • Echostar: Julien Dembélé sings "Saraka" to make a place for himself in the sun
    2012.May.31, maliweb (in French)
  • Ab de Haas: Julien Dembele, about 2013 concerts in Holland
    2013.Apr.25, abdehaas in Dutch

Something more to listen/watch:

  • Julien Dembélé's official soundcloud, with some recent recordings
    note: with electronic backing instead of the acoustic in the live recording
  • Two youtube videos ca.2010, uploaded by yoshimasterdam (again Holland?):
    Loylo / Saraka
    line-up: Julien Dembélé - chant et guitarre / Kalifa Koné - balafon / Issa Keita - percussion
Note: acc. (2012.Mar.20) they uploaded video of Julien Dembélé at Hertme on youtube, but it's not available anymore (disappeared for 'rights reasons')


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Festival au Désert 2004.Jan.9-11

A year ago I posted recordings this Festival from 2003, so now the follow-up  of 2004. Recordings made again by mps Pilot and broadcasted on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak'.
cold drinks at the 2004 Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali
picture by Yann Latronche - source: gettyimages
The situation with the Festival au Desert is that it's still 'in exile'. According to a Guardian report there were plans last year to secretly organize it in late 2017 January, all involved were ready to go. But just before a terror attack happened on a military camp in Gao, which caused the death of at least 50 people, and made officials decide to cancel the (secret) festival.
This 2017/18 winter the organizers arranged a 'Festival au Desert' in a refugee camp in Mauritania together with UNHCR-Mauritanie. Let's hope the people living in the camp(s) can soon go to their homes and enjoy music in the place, where their heart is...

Listen to Afel Bocoum with Damon Albarn:

VA-DESERT-2004_Wandel Tak VPRO

playlist: 1.Afel Bocoum - Niafunke (Mali) / 2.Haira Arby - Tombouctou (Mali) / 3.Tamasheq Girls - Quinzame (Mali) / 4.Super 11 de Gao - Super 11 (Mali) / 5.Ali Farka Toure - Karaw* (Mali, from 2003 CD)  / 6.Nuru Kane - unknown title (France/Senegal) / 7.Tartit - Tihar Bayatin (Mali) / 8.Tamasheq - Takamba (Mali) / 9.mps Pilot - Desert Remix (Mali/Holland)

All audio recorded by DJ mps PILOT, 2004.Jan.9-11 at the Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali. (*except where noted)
Broadcasted 2004.Feb.23 on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak' (my source is from the, not available anymore, radiostream)

Information about the 2004 Festival au Desert:

  • Sandblasters - interview with Tinariwen at the Festival (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • How the desert festival began (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • Songs of freedom - report about the Festival (2004.Jan.16, Independent)
  • In pictures: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Jan.30, BBC website)
  • TV Guide: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Feb, BBC Four)
  • Writings by mps Pilot about Festival not available anymore online (but my old copy included in download)
Interesting 2013 interview with Manny Ansar by Oualid Khelifi about the Festival au Desert.


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)