Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Week after Mother-loving week, I use this space to share some of the spectacular free-album downloads I find online. But this effort isn't just about getting cool music for free, it's about the thrill of discovery and the stupefying joy of stumbling upon some life-changing sounds that only moments earlier you had no idea existed. Miraculously, the joys and thrills come for the most part at no cost, but not always.
For a little change of pace, I'd like to dedicate today's Motherlode to a few generous music bloggers who, in addition to posting a steady flow of rarities and gems, found the time, resources and chutzpah to produce some magnificent reissues. There are four releases of African music here, two from South Africa and two from Ghana. Each one is a stunner and well worth a little—gasp!—cash.
Various ~ Township Jive & Kwela Jazz
(Blog: Soul Safari)
"It’s official folks! Soul Safari is proud to announce the release of our first compilation in collaboration with the International Library of African Music (ILAM), Grahamstown, South Africa. All titles on this compilation have been handpicked from the ILAM Archives and have been professionally mastered and restored from the original 78 shellac discs. The track listing represents a wide variety of styles from the golden era of jive and kwela, originally released on small independent record companies like Gallotone, Hit, BB and New Sounds. Zulu jive, Sotho vocal, accordion and violin jive to name a few style. The compilation features a few rarities by the big names obviously but presents mostly obscure material that has never been heard since the day of it’s original release. Truly music treasures from a long gone past." (Eddy De Clercq, at Soul Safari)
(Blog: Voodoo Funk)
"Psycho African Beat is the complete recorded output of this amazing group and their unprecedented music that combined elements of American soul, funk, garage rock and psych with African rhythms and melodies. This magical moment lasted for three short years producing only three releases. Today, these original releases are the most sought after and most elusive African funk records. It took Frank Gossner four years, nine visits to Ghana, and dozens of newspaper ads and radio announcements to track them down." (Academy Records)
Bola ~ Volume 7
(Blog: Awesome Tapes From Africa)
"I almost died when I heard this Volume 7 tape for the first time. Bola's intense Frafra-language vocals, along with his shredding kologo—a two-stringed lute—boosted by bass-heavy, angular keyboard melodies and dance floor-ready drums. I am fascinated by Bola's take on a traditional instrument and musical style." (Brian Shimkovitz, from Awesome Tapes From Africa)
Dick Khoza ~ Chapita
(Blog: Matsuli Music)
"Lost for over 30 years, the five tracks that comprise Chapita are a fleeting glimpse of the mid-70s mood of downtown Johannesburg, filtered through the artistic vision of troubadour, arranger, composer and impresario Dick Khoza. Chapita happened in 1976 because Khoza was able to convince Rashid Vally to sponsor a recording session. That’s the short story. But looking back at how Khoza 'followed' the music around South Africa, it becomes clear that this one-off album’s greatness is the sum of all those purposeful and chance connections that happened over more than 20 years." (Matt Temple, from Matsuli Music)
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