Sunday, August 22, 2010

Disco Benga!




Those listening to the album Muungwana (CBS ACP-CBS 1203), by Kenya's Sylvester Odhiambo & the Ambira Boys, may be reminded of the 1973 smash "Lunch Time" and other hit records by Gabriel Omolo & his Apollo Komesha. That's not surprising, as according to the liner notes Mr. Odhiambo sang on many of those recordings.

I have no idea what Mr. Odhiambo is singing about here (no doubt in keeping with Kenyan fashion the lyrics are pithy and ironic), but Muungwana is an infectious example of mid-'80s Swahili benga - propulsive, fast-moving, the synthesizer giving the music a sophisticated "disco" sheen. Enjoy!






Download Muungwana as a zipped file here. "Lunch Time" and other recordings by Gabriel Omolo & the Apollo Komesha, featuring Sylvester Odhiambo on vocals, may be found on the compilation Kenya Dance Mania (Sterns/Earthworks STEW 24CD), and I posted the flip side of "Lunch Time" here.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS JOHN. EXCELLENT LP. I WANT TO MAKE A QUIESTION. DO YOU HAVE A LP CALLED "AFFAIRE MOUGOYE" BY MAVUELA SOMO. IF YOU HAVE .. PLEAS POSTING HERE
FROM BARRANQUILLA COLOMBIA

LEONARDO MENESES E

John B. said...

Sorry, I don't have that one.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this one!
sincerely

wuod k

flageolette said...

Thanks!

Paul said...

John, thank you for this and also for putting forth all the time and energy your great gem of a blog must entail. i've been following you off and on for about a year, please know that your work is deeply appreciated.

many blessings!

martina said...

Thank you for your nice post.I really enjoy to visit this type of post.All the best for your next post.


r’n’b

Greetings from Oslo said...

Thank you for an excellent blog!

I'm really into african grooves, but as they are hard to come by in the cold north I'm turning to hyperspace to find the works to keep me and others around me stomping and sweating to keep the chill out.

Keep up the good vibes!

Cheers

thursdayborn said...

this is really great, thanks!

brian

idara said...

I just played this album for my Kenyan friend.
"muungwana" means gentleman.
I think he said "baba pompe" is about anti-alcoholism
"tumbo na njaa" is about poverty - literally meaning "hunger of stomach"
similarly is the swahili proverb-
"MAKAO YA NJAA NI TUMBO."
meaning "The dwelling place of hunger is the stomach."

EthioClips said...

Thanks for sharing, there is nothing like a nice african music.