I've been feeling bad about not being able to blog recently, but I see some of my fellow African music blogmeisters have also been slacking off this month! In my case the hiatus is due mainly to preparing for our first daughter's upcoming move to college - a big transition for all of us. To protect Aku's privacy I'm not going to say which school she's attending, but we're pretty happy with it, and of course we couldn't be prouder.
So I hope to be back in action in a week or two. In the meantime may I draw your attention to two worthy new additions to the African music blog scene?
ElectricJive specializes in South African jazz and jive, and I'm quite impressed with the first few entries, full-length LPs from Hugh Masekela, Barney Rachabane, Mahlathini and more, definitely worth your while. Then there's Afro-Synth, which for want of a better term features South African "bubblegum music," the synth-infused pop sounds that were all the rage back in the '80s and early '90s. For now the blog features mainly write-ups, but I understand it'll be adding more downloads as time goes by. I told Uchenna over at Comb and Razor this one was right up his ally! Not really my thing, but who knows? It might be yours.
Take care, and happy listening!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 24, 2008
This has been out a few days, so you may have seen it, but the latest Village Voice takes note of Likembe and several other African music blogs. It's a fairly good overview, although I and several others have noted that the essential With Comb and Razor blog is totally ignored. Read the article here.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Today marks one year since Likembe first went online on August 9, 2007. One thing I've discovered in a year of blogging is that it's a lot harder than it looks! It's been a lot of fun, nonetheless. I've made a lot of new friends and rekindled some old friendships and gotten out a lot of great music. My biggest regret is that I just haven't had time to digitize more stuff and put it online.
Here's a snapshot of daily visitors from August 14, 2007, when I started receiving Google Analytics, and July 30 of this year:
As you can see, the site started out with less that 50 unique visitors daily. Today it averages around 150, with a few spikes for posts that seem to have gotten a lot of attention. Here is a list of the top 20 posts, as measured by unique visits, as of August 1:
1. Somali Mystery Funk (1000 unique visits)While it's no surprise that Somali Mystery Funk made Number One (if barely), the inclusion of Mali Cassette Grab Bag: Djeneba Seck, Tata Bambo Kouyate, Naïny Diabate, Yayi Kanoute, Djamy Kouyate on the list is a revelation, as it generated zero comments when I first posted it! There must be a lot more fans of Sahelian female vocalists than I'd realized! Keep in mind that by its nature this list favors older posts, otherwise I'm sure Memories of Oliver de Coque would have made the cut (it's number one in the rankings for July 2008).
2. Tanzania Hit Parade '88 (999)
3. The Elusive "Igbo Blues" (895)
4. By Request: Mbaraka Mwinshehe (811)
5. Ethiopian Honey (805)
6. More Somali Funk: Sahra Dawo & Durdur (777)
7. Dakar Divas Pt. 1: Kiné Lam (720)
8. Ikenga Super Stars: Kickin' Ikwokilikwo! (709)
9. Mali Cassette Grab Bag: Djeneba Seck, Tata Bambo Kouyate, Naïny Diabate, Yayi Kanoute, Djamy Kouyate (679)
10. Nigeria's Golden Voice (678)
11. East African Memories (625)
12. Dakar Divas Pt. 5: Viviane N'dour (618)
13. Oliver de Coque is Dead (618)
14. A Long-Lost Highlife Classic (613)
15. More Ethiopian Honey (607)
16. Sikinde Ngoma Ya Ukae! (594)
17. Dakar Divas Pt. 3: Aby Ngana Diop (592)
18. Some Recent Tunes From Ghana (577)
19. More Mbaraka (567)
20. Kabaka: Mangala Special (561)
As to where you are, here's a map:
The list of the top twenty countries in terms of visitors is as follows:
1. United States (17,985 visits)No big bombshells here. A lot of people would be surprised that Colombia made number 7, but I'm not (a lot of major African music fanatics down that way!) Every country in Africa is represented, save Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic and Western Sahara. A surprise for me has been the number of visits from Somalia (71), given the state of unease in that country. From the very beginning there has been a small but steady stream of visitors from the Middle East, notably the Persian Gulf countries. Starting in October, when "Likembe" was linked on a Russian-language blog, there has been regular traffic from the former Soviet Union. Mainland China has just started to log in as of July (26 visits so far).
2. United Kingdom (6703)
3. France (4296)
4. Germany (3363)
5. Netherlands (2434)
6. Canada (2255)
7. Colombia (1942)
8. Sweden (1478)
9. Belgium (877)
10. Spain (866)
11. Italy (800)
12. Australia (722)
13. Japan (694)
14. Kenya (568)
15. Switzerland (557)
16. Greece (509)
17. South Africa (460)
18. Brazil (436)
19. Argentina (391)
20. Russia (370)
Mad props to those blogs who inspired me to get this thing going: Benn Loxo du Taccu, Matsuli Music, With Comb and Razor, Aduna, Steve Ntwiga Mugiri and Voodoo Funk, and a big shout-out to the sites that have debuted in the last year: Africolombia, Afrocaribe, African Music Treasures and Orogod (hope I didn't leave anyone out!).
Now, if I may ask for a few moments of your time, I'd appreciate some feedback about the site: what do you like about it, what don't you like, technical suggestions, what sort of music you'd like me to post in the future, etc. And if you're so inclined, tell us about yourself: where you're from, how you heard about the site and your interests. Be as brief or as wordy as you'd like.