Thursday, November 14, 2019

Tshala Muana: The Voice of Kasai



Acclaimed as one of Congo's greatest female singers, Tshala Muana over four decades in the business has emerged as the international ambassadress for Mutuashi, the insistent rhythm and dance style of Kasai Province in central Congo, very different from the mainstream soukous that is usually associated with the country.

She was born in Lubumbashi on March 13, 1958 and made her way to Kinshasa in 1976, where she joined M'Pongo Love's orchestra as a dancer. After recording two singles that didn't make a mark, she joined the group Minzoto Wella-Wella. It was in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, though, where she would make the acquaintance of the musician and arranger Jimmy Hyacinthe in 1981, that she finally made her breakthrough with her smash hit "Amina." Gary Stewart writes in Rumba on the River (Verso Book, London/New York, 2000):

With her straightened hair and evening gown, Tshala resembled one of the Supremes as she glided on stage at the cultural center of Abidjan’s Treichville neighborhood. She sang her songs and danced the mutuashi, a traditional dance of the Baluba from Zaire’s Kasai province. ‘Mutuashi,’she explained, was a Tshiluba word, a shout of encouragement for dancers that eventually became synonymous with the dance itself, and with Tshala Muana too. Subsequent appearances in Abidjan increased her nascent following. 
In 1982, financed by money borrowed from a friend, she flew to Paris with Hyacinthe’s band to cut a record. The A side, ‘Amina’ - a song given her by guitarist Souzy Kasseya, whom she’d met in M’Pongo Love’s band - packs a funky West African feel and lots of brass in support of Tshala’s tart commentary. 
Amina, shake my hand.
Even if you’re my opponent in this run-off.
I can’t hold it against you.
The world is like that, today it’s you, tomorrow it’s me.
Amina, I know what I think,
I’ve known a long time:
A man is like a hospital bed that takes in all the sick.
When you’re there it’s you,
When I’m there it’s me. 
Tshala sang ‘Amina’ in French to reach the widest possible audience, while the B side, ‘Tshebele,’ presented a more traditional piece with a percussion driven sebene in the mutuashi style and lyrics in Tshiluba. Back in Abidjan, the finished disc was reported to have sold more than 11,000 copies in Cote d’Ivoire alone.
Amina / Tshebele was licensed to Roland Francis's African Record Centre in Brooklyn (African Record Centre ARCS 3690) and released in the US to little notice, but nonetheless, Tshala was on her way to international fame:

Tshala Muana - Amina

Tshala Muana - Tshebele

Here's another US pressing from the early '80s (Disco Stock-Makossa DMGM 500, 1984):

Tshala Muana - Akouffa



Tshala Muana's outstanding 1984 release Mbanda Matiere (Safari Ambiance SAS 051) showcasing the stellar guitar work of Souzy Kasseya, is the one that really cemented her international reputation. Recorded in Paris, featuring soukous and mutuashi and lyrics in Lingala and Tshiluba, it established her in her home country as well. The collaboration with Souzy Kasseya is one that has continued on and off throughout Muana's career:






In the late '90s Tshala Muana returned to Congo from a long sojourn in Paris. She has continued her recording career, serving as a mentor to younger musicians who will carry the mutuashi torch. She's also gotten involved in politics and efforts to improve the status of women. 

Download Amina/Tshebele as a zipped file here.

Download Akouffa/Chokepansh as a zipped file here.

Download Mbanda Matiere as a zipped file here.

An informative article about Tshala Muana by Ken Braun from The Beat (Vol. 10, No. 5, 1991) here.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Morning Star Group



Here's a mysterious Nigerian album, Idanre Makin (Idanre Makin EILP 002) I got not too long ago - by a Yoruba vocal/percussion group led by Francis Akinde called Ẹgbẹ Irawọ Owurọ, whose name translates, as best I can tell, as "Morning Star Group." A lovely moniker, if Google Translate can be trusted!

The label and liner notes say nothing about this congregation, and give little indication as to what "style" the music is. It's within the broad spectrum of Yoruba percussion styles that we've been exploring recently. Enjoy!

Ẹgbẹ Irawọ Owurọ - Okungba So Gba / Ọrẹ Ma Ba Mi Je / Ibi Aiye Tire Aomo / Fiwa Jaiye Mo Boni Mi Rode

Ẹgbẹ Irawọ Owurọ - Ọla Mẹ Lọ Si Igbo Bini / Ede Sun Mi Daiko / E Are Babangida / Awa Feni Sọrọ

Download Idanre Makin as a zipped file here.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Jack of All Trades, Master of All



Footballer, guitarist and composer of many of the most memorable songs in Congolese music, Mayaula Mayoni (1946-2010) has often been overlooked. I posted one of his biggest solo hits, "Ba Chagrins", back in 2007.  The blog AfricOriginal ably summarized Mayaula's career in this post, which I reproduce here. Follow the link for pictures and further information about this well-respected musician. 
Born in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) on the sixth of November 1946, Mayaula passes effortlessly through primary school. In 1962 he completed secondary education at the College of Kisantu. The young Mayaula appears to be a passionate and good football player. Between 1968 and 1971 he plays at a high level as a left winger in the first team of "AS Vita Club" in Kinshasa. In this period he is also selected for the national team of Zaïre.

When his father is stationed as a diplomat in Dar es Salam, Mayaula follows his father to Tanzania and plays some time with "Yanga Sports". Then he leaves for Charleroi in Belgium where he follows a course in data processing. In Belgium his talent is also noticed and he plays professional soccer with "Racing Club de Charleroi" and "Racing Club de Jette"in Brussels. He also plays for some time in Switzerland with "FC. Fribourg". In this period he gets acquainted with the guitar through a study friend. Also musically he shows himself a talented student and soon he joins the Congolese student orchestra "Africana" as rhythm guitarist.

When he returns to Kinshasa, Mayaula makes a career switch from professional soccer player to professional composer and musician. Back home he immediately draws the attention of his former football president and band leader Franco, who asks Mayaula to join his band and adds his song "Cherie Bonduwe" to the repertoire of his TPOK Jazz.

The melodic and thematically rich song receives much attention, not in the least because the National Censorship Commission prohibits the song. "Cherie Bondowe" presented the life of a prostitute from her point of view and is considered by the authorities as a defense of prostitution. The song was first released in Brussels, and rapidly found its way back to Kinshasa, despite the ban by the government.

Although Franco requested him to join TPOK Jazz, Mayaula Mayoni has never been an official band member of the TPOK Jazz. "He was something of an independent oddity in the music business" writes Gary Stewart in "Rumba on the River". "He prefered to compose his songs and then offer them to whichever artist he felt they fit. Many of his memorable efforts like 'Nabali Misère' and 'Momi' found their way to OK Jazz".

In 1977 it was female singer Mpongo Love who scored with Mayaula"s composition "Ndaya," a song that tells the story of a woman happy in her marriage and confident of keeping her husband, despite the overtures of other women.

Many people mistakenly think that Mayaula was not only a gifted guitarist and composer, but a good singer as well. Although he sometimes acted as background vocalist during recordings and live performances, he has never presented himself as a lead singer. Probably this misconception is caused by a picture on the cover of the album 'Veniuza', on which we find Mayaula behind the microphone.In 1981 Mayaula leaves Zaire together with some musicians from female singer Abeti's band Les Redoutables, to try his luck in West-Africa. In the period between 1981 and 1984 he records several solo LP's in Lomé (Togo) for the record label Disc-Oriënt'. In 1984 he returns to Zaire where he releases the album 'Fiona Fiona' in 1986. In the same year female singer Tshala Muana gains success with 'Nasi Nabali', a composition written by Mayaula Mayoni. He records his next album 'Mizélé' with the help of musicians of TPOK Jazz and singers Carlito Lassa and Malage de Lugendo.

In 1993 he hits the charts again with the album "L'Amour au Kilo". It then lasts until 2000, before he comes with a new album, "Bikini". Not long after the release of this album, Mayaula settles again in Dar es Salam, where he accepts a job at the diplomatic service. In the years that followed he began to suffer increasingly the consequences of hemiplegia, a disease that may result in loss of speech and paralysis of limbs. In 2005 he returns to his place of birth, Makadi. As his condition continues to deteriorate his family decides in cooperation with the authorities to bring Mayaula to Brussels for medical treatment. After a long illness of several month"s he dies in Brussels on May 26, 2010 at the age of 64 years. During his impressive career, Mayaula Mayoni was repeatedly voted "composer of the year" in Zaïre. In 1978 for the song "Bonduwe II", in 1979 for "Nabali misère" and in 1993 for the song "Ousmane Bakayoko".
I present here Mayaula Mayoni's album La Machine a Tube (Tabansi/Africa New Sound WNL 405), recorded during his Togolese sojourn in the early '80s:

Mayaula Mayoni - Veniuza

Mayaula Mayoni - Mokili Makambo

Mayaula Mayoni - Omari

Mayaula Mayoni - Sauce Ya Bolingo

Next I offer this late '80s LP Motors (Sukuma SUK 001), with Mayaula on Side 1 and guitarist/composer Dino Vangu on Side 2. I don't think this is a true collaboration between the two, but rather something that was stitched together by a record producer. Vangu is another often-overlooked figure on the Congolese scene. He got his start in Sam Mangwana's orchestra Festival des Maquisards in 1969 and then moved on to a number of other musical congregations, notably Tabu Ley Rochereau's Afrisa International. His guitar work with Afrisa is featured in several posts here at Likembe.

Mayaula Mayoni - Motors

Dino Vangu - Bondumba

Dino Vangu - Pumaza

Dino Vangu - Ngole

Download
La Machine a Tube as a zipped file here. Download Motors as a zipped file here. Both files contain scans of the front and back covers as well as the labels.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

An Èwi Deep Dive with Lanrewaju Adepọju



Even if I weren't already a huge fan of Lanrewaju Adepọju, I would have bought this album for the cover art alone! Aláfọwósowópó (Lanre Adepoju Records LALPS 72, 1980) is a tribute to the cooperative movement in Nigeria: "The greatest weapon the masses have to fight the formidable forces of oppressive capitalism, mindless and the unconcerned attitude of few privileged rich overlords, is to form themselves into cooperative societies."

In a previous post, I wrote of Alhaji Adepoju and his mastery of the Yoruba poetic form known as èwi, of which this LP is a fine example. Many of his compositions deal with Islamic religious themes but apparently not the ones here. Although I know only a few words of Yoruba, I find his lyrical declamations thoroughly entrancing. And check out the instrumental breaks from 12:32 to 13:37 and from 16:01 to 16:46 in the first track. Somebody should sample those!



Download Aláfọwósowópóó as a zipped file here.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Raji Owonikoko's "Kwara System"



I just came into possession of a raft of great Yoruba recordings from Nigeria - lots of jùjú, àpàlà fújì, wákà, èwi, what have you - and I'll be sharing some of them with you over the next few months. For now we have on tap Raji Owonikoko, with his take on the venerable àpàlà genre, which he calls his "Kwara System." About àpàlà Christopher Alan Waterman writes in his excellent book Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music (University of Chicago Press, 1990):

... Àpàlà, a praise song and social dance music, developed in the late 1930s in the Ijebu area, and was popularized by a musician named Haruna Ishola ... àpàlà groups generally included small hourglass-shaped pressure drums called àpàlà or àdàmòn, an àgídìgbo bass lamellaphone, several conga-type drums, and a metal idiophone such as an agogo or truck muffler (Thieme 1969). Like postwar jùjú, àgídìgbo and àpàlà drew upon Latin American recordings, preexistent popular genres, and deep Yoruba rhetorical devices. These social dance and praise song genres provided an urban-centered musical lingua franca, a set of stylistic coordinates for the construction of modem Yoruba identity. Each of them relied upon indigenous principles as a unifying framework for innovation... 
The rather sedate, philosophical sound of àpàlà, whose foremost practitioners were the late Haruna Ishola and Ayninla Omowura, gave way to the more frenzied sounds of jùú, fújì and the like, but it's never disappeared, and has been given new life in recent years by artists like Musiliu Haruna Ishola, son of Haruna Ishola, who was featured in a previous Likembe post.

Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Raji Alabi Owonikoko, better known as Raji Owonikoko, is one of the musicians who have carried the àpàlà torch into the present day. At least judging from today's musical offering, Kwara System Originator (Olumo ORPS 58, 1977), his "Kwara System," named after his home state, adds a few uptempo fillips to the basic sound. In a 2012 interview with PM News (Lagos) he said:

...I hail from Kwara State. My father is a native of Buhari while my mother hails from Ijomu, Oro both in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. I was born in Oro that is why many people believe I am from Oro ... I grew up with elderly friends and contemporaries. I became more popular among them because I always sang during Ramadan fasting period, waking Islamic faithful in the community at dawn to observe Shaur [Suhoor] ... As a result of my talent, I became the leader of our musical group. Thereafter, I moved to Lagos with some members of the group where I recruited others to join my group. Along the line, I met King Sunny Ade, and Jide Smith, who was into music instrument rentals. I eventually changed to àpàlà music genre because of the love I had for the late àpàlà music sage, Alhaji Haruna Ishola, in spite of other types of music around then...
I hope you will enjoy this offering of àpàlà, Kwara style!



Download Kwara System Originator as a zipped file here.


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Master of the Ngurumi and the Biram



I present today four cassettes by Malam Maman Barkah, the Niger Republic's acclaimed master of two traditional instruments of that area - the ngurumi, a two stringed lute (pictured), and the biram, a five-stringed harp. Malam Barkah passed away on November 21 of last year to much sadness in Niger and the neighboring Hausa-speaking areas of Nigeria. Radio France International reported, "Great emotion this morning in Niger when the local press reported the death of musician Malam Maman Barka, immensely popular in his country and also well known in neighboring Nigeria. The popularity of Malam Maman Barka is explained by his mastery of biram, a very particular instrument, and also by his committed songs."

My understanding is that while Maman Barkah sang mainly in the Hausa language, he was a member of the nomadic Toubou people, born in Tesker, southern Niger, in 1958 or 1959. He started his professional life as a teacher and learned the ngurumi, a two-stringed lute common in the Sahel region, where it is known by various names. It was as a master of this instrument, and his incisive lyrics which addressed classical themes as well as current events and notable individuals, that Maman Barkah achieved fame throughout Niger and northern Nigeria. This led to many appearances throughout the world.

In 2002 Malam Barkah received a grant from UNESCO to travel to the shores of Lake Chad and learn the biram, a five-stringed harp played by the Boudouma (Yedina) people of the region. The instrument, considered sacred, had fallen into disuse. Before passing, the last living master of the biram, Boukou Tar, taught Maman Barkah the secrets of the instrument and gave him his own. Before his death Malam Barkah was the director of the Center for Music Promotion and Training (CFPM) "El Hadji Taya" in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

The four cassettes in this post are the result of two cassette-hunting expeditions: By me in Kano, Nigeria in 1995 and by my wife Priscilla in Jos, Nigeria in 1998. He was very popular throughout the region! All feature Maman Barkah on the ngurumi. Recordings of him playing the biram are available on the CD Introducing Mamane Barka (World Music Network INTRO114CD, 2009).

Labeling for the songs here is very confusing. Africa 1 and Africa 4 seem to be mispackaged or mislabeled, as the songs don't seem to correspond to listings on the inlay cards. Africa 2 and Republic Niger No. 4 do seem to be properly labeled. Not knowing how to determine the proper song titles I've just listed them as they appear on the cassettes, and the extra songs are just labeled "Song Title Unknown." I'd appreciate it if someone could clear the confusion up for us.

I confess I haven't paid these cassettes much attention since obtaining them in the '90s. However, repeated listenings in the course of preparing them for this post have given me a new appreciation for this music. I had always thought that the mysterious Korean lady who appears on the covers of three of the cassettes was Malam Barkah's wife, but apparently that picture was taken during a musical performance in North Korea!

Here is Africa 1:

Maman Barkah - Amerame

Maman Barkah - Gourmi Story

Maman Barkah - Iyani Mai Towo

Maman Barkah - Feronguila

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown

Maman Barkah - Massagui

Maman Barkah - Awa Sakehali

Maman Barkah - Zaman Duniya

Maman Barkah - Beghue Tunani

Maman Barkah - Arri Na Bin Tou

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown

Download Africa 1 as a zipped file here.


While digitizing these cassettes I realized that side 2 of the cassette Africa 1, apparently a reissue, actually contains the full contents of Africa 2! (There are around 45 minutes of music on each side). As the recording quality of Africa 1 is superior I've gone with that version:

Maman Barkah - Tabaraka Allah

Maman Barkah - Oubedatu

Maman Barkah - Massoyi da Massoya

Maman Barkah - Dabarabara

Maman Barkah - Maman Maki

Maman Barkah - In Nabaki Mikike

Maman Barkah - Beby Elinna

Maman Barkah - Archatelfara

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown (Instrumental)

Download Africa 2 as a zipped file here. I don't have Africa 3, but here is Africa 4. Who knows how many volumes were released?

Maman Barkah - Nahissa

Maman Barkah - Kidan Maman Daban


Maman Barkah - Aochatou Dogoya

Maman Barkah - La Six

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown

Maman Barkah - Mousha Shagaumu Talki

Maman Barkah - In Ada

Maman Barkah - We Day Hassour

Maman Barkah - Song Title Unknown

Download Africa 4 as a zipped file here.


The final cassette here, Republic Niger No. 4 (no connection with Africa 4 above), seems to be the most recently recorded:

Maman Barkah - Tankari Dan Garba No. 1

Maman Barkah - Rammá Ta Mirria

Maman Barkah - Tankari Dan Garba No. 2

Maman Barkah - Kar Ki Bami A

Maman Barkah - Delu El Fulani

Maman Barkah - Hawa Merama

Maman Barkah - Er Komatou

Maman Barkah - Tankari Dan Garba No. 3

Download Niger Republic No. 4 as a zipped file here.

Two CDs by Maman Barkah, Introducing Mamane Barka and Guidan Haya, are available from Amazon. Follow the links!

Here is a clip of Maman Barkah playing the biram in 2010:


Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Queen of Wassoulou




Kudos to The Lost Maestros for posting this wonderful video (from World Service's YouTube channel) of the Malian diva Coumba Sidibe. I have nothing to add to their summary of her career:

Mali's Coumba Sidibe was a pioneering force behind the evolution of wassoulou, the earthy, propulsive music that first captured the imagination of west African listeners in the mid-'70s. A singer of elemental power, she set the stage for a generation of artists including Oumou Sangaré, Issa Bagayogo, and Nahawa Doumbia, although their international fame consistently eluded her. 
Born in Koninko, Mali in 1950, Sidibe began singing at regional harvest festivals at the age of seven, following in the footsteps of her father Diara, a famed dancer and sorcerer skilled in the ecstatic percussion and dance tradition known as sogoninkun, and her mother, a vocalist of great local renown. 
The first female member of l'Ensemble Instrumental National du Mali, a state-sponsored orchestra created to represent the nation's folkloric traditions, Sidibe exited their ranks in 1977 to team with Alata Brulaye, the creator of the kamelengon, a six-string harp modeled on the sacred dosongoni, an instrument effectively off limits to popular musicians. 
The kamelengoni's funky, percussive sound quickly emerged as the foundation of the wassoulou aesthetic, a neo-traditional style that threatened the long-standing cultural dominance of Mali's jelis, the music-making caste whose roots date back to the 13th century. While the jelis performed traditional songs targeted to the wealthy and powerful, the so-called "kono" (i.e., the predominantly female "songbirds" at the forefront of the wassoulou movement) addressed contemporary themes like romance and feminism; hits like "Diya ye Banna" earned Sidibe the unofficial title "Queen of Wassoulou," and her backing group Le Super Mansa de Wassoulou was the launching pad for future superstars including Sangaré, arguably the most successful Malian artist of her generation. While a revered figure in her homeland, Sidibe never attracted the attention of the world music cognoscenti, and in the late '90s she and her family relocated to New York City, where she headlined a Sunday night residency at Harlem's St. Nick's Pub. Sidibe died in Brooklyn on May 10, 2009.
Today I present two cassettes from the early '90s by Sidibe. Here's the first, Wary (Shakara Music SHA 09032):

Coumba Sidibe - Wary

Coumba Sidibe - Mougoukan

Coumba Sidibe - Didady

Coumba Sidibe - Kana Kassi

Coumba Sidibe - Konyan

Coumba Sidibe - Nalena

Download Wary as a zipped file here. And here's the second, Dounouyan (Shakara Music/Syllart SHA 02901):

Coumba Sidibe - Dounouyan

Coumba Sidibe - Ninin

Coumba Sidibe - Baba

Coumba Sidibe - Tché Kani Wélé

Coumba Sidibe - Héé!! Ndanani

Coumba Sidibe - Ka Lonongon Yan

Download Dounouyan as a zipped file here.

More music by Coumba Sidibe is available on the Sterns compilations The Wassoulou Sound: Women of Mali (STCD 1035, 1991) and The Wassoulou Sound: Women of Mali Vol. 2 (STCD 1048, 1994), available through the usual purveyors. The Lost Maestros, by the way, is a wonderful effort to bring back to light some of the forgotten masters of Malian music. Read this article (in French) here, or go to the Facebook page here.


Friday, September 6, 2019

An Overlooked Obey Gem



I thought I had all of Ebenezer Obey's great LPs from the '80s, until I came across this gem in Dusty Groove in Chicago a few months ago.

It turns out that, while Gbeja Mi Eledumare (Afrodisia DWAPS 2252) was released in 1985, it was recorded in 1979. The reason I missed it before is that it was released on Afrodisia instead of the Chief Commander's own Obey label. Some time in the '70s, Obey's label, Decca West Africa, was "indigenized" and transformed into Afrodisia Records, most of its reference numbers retaining the old WAPS or DWAPS prefixes. Around the same time Obey, having obtained the rights to his archive recordings, began releasing them on the Obey imprint, again with the WAPS prefix. Newer recordings had reference numbers beginning with OPS.

So what I think happened was that Gbeja Mi Eledumare was recorded, never released and Afrodisia somehow retained the rights to it, only to release it a few years later. An excellent recording it is!

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey & his Inter-Reformers Band - Gbeja Mi Eledumare / Olorun Oba Tiwa Dowo Re / Aiye Ju Daniel Si Iho Kinniun / Rere A Pe Ika a Pe


Download Gbeja Mi Eledumare as a zipped file here.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

"Live" at the Kilimanjaro



An often-overlooked item in the discography of Les Quatre Etoiles, 1988's Four Stars at the Kilimanjaro (Kilimanjaro International Productions KIP-006-88) purports to be a "live" recording at the Kilimanjaro Club in Washington, DC but is no such thing. While I'm sure Les Quatre Etoiles did perform at the Kilimanjaro, Side One of this LP is obviously a studio recording to which dubbed-in crowd noises have been added! This occasionally occurs in classic African recordings for inexplicable reasons. Sometimes, when the records are reissued, it has been possible to locate the original masters sans the additions. That's when we're lucky, but that usually isn't the case. Oh, well, at least Side Two of At the Kilimanjaro hasn't been defaced in this manner!

Les Quatre Etoiles (the Four Stars) are, of course, the Congolese super-group that was founded in the early '80s by Wuta MayiNyboma Muan'didoBopol Mansiamina and Syran Mbenza. They're still around and active! For whatever reason (probably visa-related) Nyboma does not appear here, and has been replaced by drummer Komba Bellow, a fine musician in his own right. That begs the question, though - without Nyboma, can this group really claim to be Les Quatre Etoiles? He's a pretty essential part of the ensemble, after all! Despite this, I think At the Kilimanjaro is an excellent recording, phony crowd noises and all. I hope you'll agree!

Les Quatre Etoiles - Kouame / Elena / Ayant Droit / Tuti / Zou Zou

Les Quatre Etoiles - Amerika

Les Quatre Etoiles - Djina

Les Quatre Etoiles - Dovi Dina

Download At the Kilimanjaro as a zipped file here. By the way, apparently when Syran Mbenza was in DC, he recorded another album, Africa: The Golden Years (African Music Gallery AMG 007), with some of the same musicians. I posted it many years ago here.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Ripoff Alert!



For some time now, a dubious operation called "Kipepeo Publishing," apparently based in Kenya, has been peddling on Amazon CDs made from MP3s downloaded, for free, from this site and others. Moos's Global Groove in particular has also been a prominent victim.

Now, I want to emphasize that neither I, nor Moos, nor any of our fellow African music bloggers own the rights to this music. We digitize old LPs that are long out of print, we clean up the sound quality as best we can, scan the covers and labels, etc. because we love the music and want to share it with others. Obtaining these recordings often entails considerable expense, travel and so forth (Moos in particular spends thousands of dollars at record fairs digging up these gems). In return we don't expect remuneration, but recognition and gratitude are appreciated.

We don't have much legal recourse against these shysters, of course. As I say, we don't own the rights to the music. It's disappointing to see Amazon party to this fraud, and supposedly there is an appeals process, which some people have already utilized, to little avail apparently. For my part, I see no point.

Here's a suggestion: If you're scanning Amazon for some classic African sounds and you see something you're interested in from this "Kipepeo Publishing," do a little internet search. There's a good possibility you'll find it for free here or on some other site. Save your money!