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01
Were Omito Aoko
00 :51
02
Wasonga Muga Robert Opio
00 :57
03
Simon Ogaya Joseph Wamidha
01 :04
04
Ghatoria Macharia Choras
00 :52
05
J. Omwami Okwara
00 :46
06
Mulijo And Party Owebigere
00 :44
07
Andereya Ndombi Vatali Vano
00 :57
08
Bernard Odongu Obala Jimmy
00 :56
09
Akumu Ogara Mureg
00 :51
10
Alfons Otina Aronga Romba
00 :54
11
Oluoch Ogwel
01 :07
12
Black Label Band Sura Mbaya
00 :46
13 00 :49
14
Reuben Imbinkha Shindu
00 :54
15
Sumoni And Party Abataka
00 :53
16
H. Kekemu Na Yila Na Yela
01 :03
17
Francis Ouma Kilindini Mujimupia
00 :57
18
W.K.A. Laboso And Esta Kitagararan
00 :55
ARTIST
TITLE
Something Is Wrong: Songs From East Africa, 1952-7
FORMAT
2LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
HJR 050-2LP HJR 050-2LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
12/7/2010

This is part 2 of a 2LP set of vinyl versions of Honest Jon's Something Is Wrong: Vintage Recordings From East Africa CD compilation -- selections from an HMV run of more than 400 78s -- recordings made in Uganda and Kenya from the mid‐1930s to the mid‐1950s. Part 2 encompasses this material circa 1952-1957. Three main types of performance are featured (not forgetting a lovely early Kenyan big‐band calypso, as if straight from the pen of Lord Kitchener). Most are minstrelsy, with songs ranging dazzlingly through subjects including loneliness and death, bastards and cut‐off trousers, trains of fire and no‐good rich people, a murder mystery and a drunken punch‐up at a rumba party in Kampala, and metaphorical cocks, hard pedalling and kettles which won't boil. Other minstrels accompany themselves on various sorts of lyre, and guitars carrying the influences of U.S. country music and Congolese 78s, the influx of Congolese musicians, and the harmonies of Christian church music. There are also tough, raw contributions on button‐accordion and taarab music from the Swahili‐speaking communities of the east coast, and Arab and Indian communities in ports like Mombasa, which had imported Egyptian and Indian music since almost the start of the century. Lilting melodies are provided by violins or Indian harmoniums, sometimes also an oud, along with Indian or Arab percussion. Finally, there is the startling sound of four larger Ugandan ensembles, with songs about getting drunk and the relative merits of prostitution and motherhood, and the king's deportation by the British, deploying "the man who crunches rocks between his teeth." The style dismayed the missionary Robert Ashe, who visited the court of the Kabaka in 1884: "Our ears were deafened with the din which a motley band of musicians were making. Kettledrums and hand drums were rolling, horns braying, flutes screaming ... while blind musicians twanged away on their banjos, the whole making a most discordant harmony." Luxuriously presented, in a gatefold sleeve, with full notes, including extensive translation and haunting photographs. Recordings brilliantly restored at Abbey Road.