Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shangaan Electro + Butterflies and Hermeto Pascoal

Altered Zones does an awesome feature on my compilation of Shangaan Electro here.  More to come...

For New Yorkers, go see Neu! and Hermeto Pascoal this Friday free at Lincoln Center.

Outside Music youtube classic from Hermeto here:

Monday, June 28, 2010


FOUR out of print volumes of the amazing Musicaphon Anthology of the Music of Mali. If it's too hot to sleep where you are (it is in NYC) this is my prescription. Better than your dreams?

L'Ensemble Instrumental du Mali

The following two volumes via the amazing Holy Warbles:

Le Mali des Sables - Les Songoy

Le Mali des steppes et des savanes - Les Mandingues

Les peul

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

The CARE Music Project ftr Javelin, Esau Mwamwaya

CAREMUSICPROJECT from outsidemusic on Vimeo.
Just showed this film at CARE's National Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. More info on CARE work on their site, CARE.oRG. I've been working on this initiative for about 4 years, trying to bring together my interest in field recordings with the work that CARE does to fight poverty and empower women in over seventy of the poorest countries across the world. More to come I hope!! Grab the MP3s at CARE.oRG/MUSIC.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


JAGWA MUSIC is seeping out from the concrete in Dar Es Salaam.   It's similar to what we've come to expect from new regional African urban music: trademark casios trumpet through old speakers a la Konono, traditional meets retro via the strange African time warp (i.e., people use what they can access -- probably the same "retro" instruments you're ordering on Ebay).  But no matter how you theorize, this music has grandeur and grit.  It's like a more dense juju with sweeping tides of sounds that wash against each other.  We haven't been able to find any tapes (yet!) but there are some live recordings made by a label in Germany.   Wash yourself in the track below and check the myspace.

01 Sumu ya Teja by outsidemusic


Monday, May 24, 2010

Africa's Alan Lomax: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey

In December and January, I spent time at Rhodes University in Grahmstown, South Africa where Hugh Tracey's archive is located. 

The place is unlike anywhere I've ever been -- old notebooks, thousands of recordings, a substantial instrument collection from throughout Africa -- all of this is available to study and explore.

I spent a week there with the staff and the collection, and I interviewed Hugh's son, Andrew Tracey, at least four times (that's him in the picture smelling a seventy-year-old mbira -- "this mbira must have been kept by a family's hearth" he explained.

The product of my work in SA was a radio show for Afropop Worldwide.  The show also features commentary from Esau Mwamwaya (The Very Best) and Tshepang Ramoba (BLK JKS).  Stream it here on the Afropop site:  Discover and Record: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey.   Pictures from trip are also available in that link on the Afropop online feature.