At last it has come full sphere – after more than 6 years of traveling around the planet we have now explored the music from every nation on Earth (if you want proof, click the Past Episodes tab and scroll waaaay down). It has been an amazing feast for the ears, every week bringing new surprises, and I must say that I’m a bit sad that there are no more nations to discover on this here planet (maybe hiding somewhere in a cave where the google doesn’t see?).
But as each nation is a world in itself, there is still so much to learn. Heck, a lot of new music can happen to a country in 6 years! So get ready for round 2, the sophomore journey around the world. It may end up being a bit different this time, but no less magical I reckon.
The Matemai Mbira Group have the biggest darn mbiras in Harare
First! Our maiden voyage to Zimbabwe, uncovering mbiras of many shapes and flavours, zimdancehall, new wave, reggae, hip hop, classic zimrock, and punk…
Come and hang out on islands of shifting majesty. Comorian musicians blend Arabic, African, French and global genres with a multiplicity of languages. Can you say pev̄o?!
In particular, Afro-Sufi musician Nawal is a groove-inflected force for peace:
It takes the Aldabra Tortoise 3 hours to yawn
To the land of ancient tortoises and giant nuts! Seychelles also has some pretty groovy sega music, and mouggae, and waltzes… all sung in the wonderful Seychellois kreol. Check it silvouple:
Oh and about those nuts – they really are the heaviest in the world, and in the old days when they would travel across the ocean and land on far away shores, people just didn’t know what the heck to think.
The Coco de Mer: a big nut that looks like a butt
This week’s global bangers & mash contains many more sonic surprises:
Ernesto Djedje, the king of Ziglibithy. Wore shirts infrequently.
Despite having been named after the bad ol’ days of rampant elephant poaching, the Ivory Coast is a gem of many sonical splendours. From Gbégbé to Ziglibithy and then onward to Coupé Décalé – spend an hour grooving to the music of the Ivory Coast to temporarily cure your S.A.D.
While you’re at it, take the time to enjoy this vintage slice of ’80s Ivoriana. Amazing dance moves, a face-melting guitar solo, proto-rap… Thank you NST Cophie’s (what a bizarre name you have).
Long live African Dwarf Elephants.
La Société des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elégantes (SAPE!)
The smaller, less-troubled Congolese Republic (often called Congo-Brazzaville after its capital city) is bursting with style and grace, thanks in large part to its amazing musical heritage. Sample some classics and unheard gems right here: