Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Continental Drift

It's about time I put up a mix. It's called Continental Drift: that was (and still is) the name of a radio show that friends and I did in Chicago, throughout the 1990s , on WNUR FM. In between jazz in the morning (listen to Joe early on Tuesday: 5 AM in Chicago is noonish here) and rock in the afternoon, we played just about anything. As many others, I don't like the label world music. I guess only Sun Ra can make the claim his music is from out of this world.

So we played anything and everything. I usually featured a heavy dose of African music, picking new and old pieces from a collection that grew over the years, sprinkled with non-US hiphop, dub, Gainsbourg, Fairouz, Brel, Romanian pop, rembetika, tropicalia, gnawa, etc. Maybe I'll put up one of those mixes one of these days. I don't always listen to old African vinyl!

The mix flies from Togo to Cameroon, over Congo and Kenya, back to Guinea-Conakry, Benin and Nigeria. Bella Bellow needs a serious reissue of her work (Samy?). The aeroplane soundbite comes from PoussePousse, a Cameroonian movie: I'll have more of the soundtrack with lots of Andre Marie Tala. No need to tell much about Manu Dibango (Matt, did you see him at Couleur Cafe?). Demaye's track is the flip side of Soul Soukouss and just as funky. Trio Madjesi follow with their raw style in Matshatsha. Loi-Toki-Tok are Kenyan: they sing "they have nothing to say" but the groove speaks for itself. More Guinean sounds from Keletigui; the unmatched Poly-Rythmo; Nigerian Funkees; Abeti's personal take on Congolese rhythms; Babatunde taking a cue from Manu Dibango; more Akoffa Akoussah (she also connected with Manu Dibango, and sadly passed away in April of this year) ; Tabu Ley's Folksoum rhythm of Muwoso; Cloud7 from Nigeria again (Why Cloud 7 and not 9?); and finally The Wings (read more on them at WithComb&Razor). Anyone know how people like The Wings and Geraldo Pino ended up on Kenyan label, Suzumi, which released a handful of 45s?

I've tried several times to upload this as a mix but with the slow/developing IT connection it keeps failing after 30-40 minutes. Uploading smaller files works better... so here's a DIY mix with 16 tracks. This is the order I mixed it but feel free to make your own!


John B. said...

Another incredible track by Akofa Akoussah - I can't stand it!

BTW I like this sort of format for "mixes." This way I can burn the CD & go to whichever track I like.

jon said...

Yeah, I like the individual tracks approach too. Great grooves sir!
many thanks,

Comb & Razor said...


and i concur on the individual tracks approach, as well!

Pieter said...

Thanks! Uchenna, have you heard anything about this movie, Legends of Afrobeat? Is it out?

I'd love to see this; the bits on the website are very promising. Duncan Brooker talks about finding Afronational's musicians through his Sierra Leonean gasman. It also has Miles Cleret and Quinton Scott involved so it will feature plenty of digging archeaology...

Jozef said...

Hi Pieter

Burned the mix on cd last weekend only.

A pleasant surprise: less familiar and more gentle than expected to come from East-Africa and suggested by the band names.

Thanks for brightening up my weekend


Marko said... about memories!

I used to listen on Saturday mornings to some kind of free-form / new wave / whatever show. And I lived in north-central Indiana, about 125 miles away, so I had to use a special FM antenna to get good reception.

I used to have on tape (it's gone for good, I'm afraid - recorded over or something) of a particularly wild -n- crazy Saturday morning. Whoever was in the studio was laughing while reading the news, adding silly commentary throughout. They then played that "Sunday! Sunday!" ad for drag racing on US 31....over and over again, at different speeds, or just dropping the needle at random spots on the promo record. It was free form radio in all its glory!

Nothing local exists like that today, sad to say. There's always WFMU, which I listen to occasionally on the internet. But it just ain't the same thing.

forego is my witness said...

If you ever ever make available for download OSIDIZM, please please let me know! My copy is pretty beat but I love it so very much! Your cover looks a hundred times better than mine, I bet the vinyl is better too. THANK YOU!!

calumbinho said...

I really loved that mix, but, is sea already dry? :(
Thanks for the great music in any case. :)

Capt. Planet said...

nice ones! Really feeling that last afrobeat joint and the opener is a killer too. Never heard of Bella Bellow, did she put out other records too?

Comb & Razor said...

months later...

Pieter, i missed your question way back... nah, i never knew anything about this documentary, though i had heard rumblings about one or two afrobeat docs being in production. this might be one of them.

looks pretty interesting!

Anonymous said...
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Cole said...

I have to comment..

Continental Drift has me dancing around my apartment.

Well done. Excellent. Nuff respect. And greetings from Miami.


Delfina said...

Keep up the good work.

fill X said...

just a great blog. I am amstering /mixing engineer in the states who has restoration work too on old records and 78's. If you ever feel like putting to gteyher a comp of things you have found let me know if i can help.

Le Porc Rouge said...

Love the Bella Bellow track here. Thanks!
Just found an album of her music, now shared at my blog:

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