God is Real

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07.16.13 Music Of Africa

Music Of Africa

theres a demon livin inside of me, and all he wants to do all day is eat bugs, worship the sun, and rock out hard as hell to some wild ass african jams. i bet u got one too. just gotta coax em out with the right juju. heres 100 albums organized by genre/region that should do it
1Abdel Halim Hafez
Ya Malikan Kalbi

[genre: traditional arabic pop] [country: egypt] one of the big four of traditional arabic pop. dudes been dead for hundreds of years and yet live recordings of his tunes still blast out the speakers of halal meat markets in cairo to this day. this comp will spinkick your nuts into oblivion so i advise prepping yourself for it by covering your entire body in sand and kissing the mouth of a snakecharmer to gain his powers. youll thank me later. this shit rules
2Umm Kulthum
Inta Omri

[traditional arabic pop] [egypt] another of the big 4. this chick slays. one of egypts most popular singin ladies, inta omri is probably the best track she ever did and it gets reissued pretty consistently -- you can find different copies of it in its entirety on youtube if you look hard enough. watch out tho theres like 40 different ways to spell her name so if one spelling doesnt turn up much try another
3Mohammed Abdel Wahab
Min Gheyr Leh

[traditional arabic pop] [egypt] last of the big 3 im listin (sry farid al atrash). dude is the literally the author of 3 national anthems, so either hes the most talented man to ever walk the shores of egypt or 2 arab countries are unoriginal as fuck. idk. either way min gheyr leh is this earthy, haunting ass tune and, needless to say, its a jam and a half
4Ali Hassan Kuban
Walk Like a Nubian

[nubian music] [egypt] groovy danceable shit from the nubian diaspora after years of being fucked with by the egyptian govt. has a really distinct flavour that separates it from the more arabic-y egyptian stuff but i wouldnt classify it as particularly sub-saharan either. some parts are kinda cheesy but others are really cool (werwek moshkoburungo is a sickkkk track). idk. check it out and see if u feel it
5Hamza el Din
Escalay: The Water Wheel

[nubian music] [egypt] nubian music as well but completely different from ali hassan kuban's shit. really sprawling, meditative, and hypnotic stuff, with a big emphasis on the oud. lots of bangers on this one. check it if yr ready to chill
6Anouar Brahem
Le Pas du Chat Noir

[arabic folk/arabic jazz/chamber jazz] [tunisia] really melancholic, dream-like jazz based heavily around a mixture of oud and piano. really, really fucking good. makes me feel like im a young tunisian orphan from the slums riding a camel into the sunset after his parents were killed by bandits
7Cheikha Remitti
Sources of the Rai

[traditional rai] [algeria] best chiekha remitti comp. remitti sings roots rai, which is the traditional, more algerian folk based side of rai that existed primarily before rai got banned altogether in the 60s. if yr familiar with modern day rai, let me just stress that this sounds nothing like it, as modern rai is horrible bullshit and this is actually m/
8 Various Artists (World)
1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground

[rai] [algeria] start here with rai. hope you brought another pair of underwear because you wont even have an ass after this gets done rocking your body. the best tracks from the best rai artists produced during a time when rai was at its most culturally oppressed. the horns on this thing, man, the fuckin horns literally ripped my goddamn dick off and suplexed it into the mayors petunia garden in protest of ameriKKKas twisted imperialist bullshit fuck jokes man this is real and its incredible
9 Nass El Ghiwane
Disque d'or 1973

[gnawa] [morocco] a mixture of western sub-saharan african folk, traditional arabic folk and berber music, these dudes are essentially the kings of gnawa. martin scorsese loves em so much that he put "ya sah" in the last temptation of christ. if you wanna hear some sweet, genre-bending moroccan folk tunes and are entirely comfortable with having your face rocked, check em out.
10Mahmoud Guinia
Mahmoud Guinia

[gnawa] [morocco] guinia is probably the most popular gnawa artist, and nass el ghiwane aside, hes also probably the best. this tape is a perfect encapsulation of all that rules about gnawa music and is easily one of my favorites from the region. i bump it often and if youre in the mood to trance out to some masterful percussion-heavy spiritual shit, you should too.
11 Khalifa Ould Eide & Dimi Mint Abba
Moorish Music From Mauritania

[moorish music] [mauritania] transcendental. a totally different take on the whole arabic + african thing. gnarly harmonies, tempered with sparse oud plucks, killer percussion, and sealed up tight with some sick praise vocals, this album is so pure that fucking it is probably illegal. listen to this if u ever want to feel like a useless imbecile and get shown up by a bunch of desert dwelling poor people
12Ooleya Mint Amartichitt
Praise Songs

[moorish music] [mauritania] this woman has an unreal voice and she abuses the hell out of it on this record. definitely religious so that might turn off some people instantly but its not like u can understand what shes saying anyway, so just turn it up, kick back, and zone out because this thing will take you places brother
13Djeli Moussa Diawara

[mande folk] [guinea] the kora on this thing man...absolutely gorgeous. these are some of the gentlest, most beautiful melodies i think ive ever heard in mande folk music, and thats saying a lot, considering how many different styles and artists fall under that banner. check it or eat shit
14Toumani Diabate with Ballake Sissoko
New Ancient Strings

[mande folk] [mali] toumani diabate and ballake sissokok are kora masters & legends of mande folk. ideally, you should dip into both of their discogs, but i only got 100 slots so i chose this joint album to represent them both. good thing its basically their magnum opus. dont sleep on this
15Ali Farka Toure

[blues/mande folk] [mali] interchangeable with niafunk?, and maybe even the river tbh. idk. sweet acoustic west african takes on american delta blues. when dude gets into the groove hes unstoppable.
16Super Djata Band
En super forme Vol. 1

[mande folk] [mali] one of my personal favorite mande folk tapes. heavy arabic influence, punctuated with long stretches of hypnotic guitar and vaguely psychedelic percussion breaks all underneath a thick tape hiss. ya. its fucking awesome. slap this on and prepare to enter an entirely different zone
17Oumou Sangare

[wassoulou] [mali] wassoulou is cool west african traditional music normally sung by women about women things, like friendzoning nice guys, breast cancer, and takin care of four goddamn kids while u sit on yr ass watchin sports center. its cool
18Ramata Diakite

[wassoulou] [mali] i like this better than worotan. if you like yr womens empowerment served with a side of tape warp (and you should) then this is yr next destination
19Na Hawa Doumbia
La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol 3

[wassoulou] [mali] my favorite wassoulou record, and thats not just because i want to network brands with the guy who runs awesome tapes from africa. occasionally cacophonous but powerful and piercing in a way that no other wassoulou album is for me, i dont know if id recommend it as an intro to the genre but id definitely recommend it above any others in the genre.

[tishoumaren/tuareg music] [mali] desert blues from mali. cool in parts, but kinda boring in others. check this and the first album and you should be good. if this kinda shit really tickles your fancy (and for a lot of people it does) then also check out group inerane's guitars from agadez
21 L'Orchestre Kanaga de Mopti
L'Orchestre Kanaga de Mopti

[afro-funk] [mali] originally issued on a malian government label and reissued again by kindred spirits back in 2011. some of the coolest, funkiest shit from one of the traditional malian orchestra groups -- its suitably massive stuff filled with lots of inventive, scatterbrain rhythms and subtle malian folk influence. bump it
22Amadou and Mariam
Dimanche a Bamako

[afro-funk] [mali] tje ni mousso is my favorite by them, but out of the albums on sputnik dimanche is the only one worth your time. fucking damon albarn ruined this band. eat glass you goddamn fraud
23 Youssou N'Dour
Immigres / Bitim Rew

[mbalax] [senegal] parties so hard youll wake up with a garfield tattoo. mbalax, like soukous, takes cuban rhythms and twists them into these bouncy, upbeat, bass heavy party tunes and its absolutely infectious. the latin influence is more subdued on this one but the musicianship is so on point that it doesnt really matter. one of my favs
24 Guelewar Band of Banjul
Sama Yaye Demna N'Darr

[mbalax/afro-funk] [gambia] ayyy mi brudda. dis da righteous funk. this record takes all thats good about mbalax and then takes all thats good about afrobeat and then slams the two together, and it will groove you to the bone. ron paul fights crime in the projects to this. ron paul plays this when he rawdogs a bitch
25Thionne Seck
Chauffeur Bi

[mbalax] [senegal] seck is one of the bigger names in mbalax. his discography is kinda patchy so id advise against diving in for gems; still, chauffeur bi demonstrates just how hard this fucker can jam when hes in his groove. its a little stiff and traditional, sure, but even so, its still leagues above most of the other shit in this genre.
26Baaba Maal
Missing You (Mi Yeewnii)

[mbalax] [senegal] rootsy mbalax. not super characteristic of baaba's stuff, which normally sucks inconceivable amounts of westernized ass. allmusic blew their load all over it so if u agree with them a lot you should pick this up. my opinion is a little more subdued -- but baaba is a huge name in african music, and this is easily his best record, so whatever. im just a fucking idiot. enjoy.

[mbalax/afro-funk/mande folk] [gambia] how the hell did this slip through the cracks? apparently this was an unreleased record from 84 that just got dug up and issued for the first time last year, but my god, its marvelous. a weird, ridiculously groovy mixture of senegalese mbalax, nigerian afro-funk and malian mande folk that jams harder than i can accurately describe. highly, highly, recommended.
28Aby Ngana Diop

[tassu] [senegal] im not one for hyperbole but this record will dupe your unsuspecting ass into a cobra clutch bulldog and chuck you down a fucking well. this record will liu kang uppercut your stupid dick into your incongruent fucking jaw and it will bury itself up your narrow virgin cornhole so deep that you will be shitting out bits of it for months. this album will pulverize your bones into protein powder and inject them directly into its barbarian balls, and it will lick your floppy, boneless skin while your dad screams from the bottom of the stairs to "STOP FUCKING AROUND UP THERE". it is shouting, tribal shouting over a steady, never ending rhythm that will devolve you back into the state of an uncontrollable primate, jerking off in the face of society, jerking off like a powerful wolf that has reached sentience, eating handfuls of your own shit as it pours out the ass of yet another lost soul, aimlessly wandering the bayside. whats my name? you ask, having lost all memory. who am i? this album holds the key, it holds the answers to lifes deepest mysteries. but it will never tell you. it is gnarly in an unreproducible, unachievable way. god bless
29Celestine Ukwu
Ilo Abu Chi

[highlife] [nigeria] highlife is the precursor to afrobeat: it essentially took the sound of brass bands and adapted it to fit into more danceable, calypso-like rhythms, and as time went on it morphed to incorporate rumba, jazz, and swing influences as well. ilo abu chi is the quintessential summer record and is perfect for dipping your feet into the genre. check it or get clotheslined
30Oliver de Coque
Udoka Social Club of Nigeria

[highlife] [nigeria] dude wrote 70+ fucking albums and his name sounds like "allover da cock", what do you expect? if you didnt say "some of the best highlife tunes ever" yr wrong, im afraid. dude is a highlife wizard and one of the genres most important goons. i dunno if social club is his best but its my fav
31 Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe
Osadebe '75

[highlife] [nigeria] i was talking to some old ass nigerian fuckers and they said osadebe was the king of highlife. theyre wrong and dumb as hell but i understand their reasoning. osadebe isnt the best, but hes definitely the most consistent -- the same is true for this album. its not perfect, but damn if it isnt consistently good...
32Sir Victor Uwaifo
Ekassa - Talk of the Town

[highlife] [nigeria] the coolest highlife record. it takes risks without a second thought; i dont even think it realizes its taking risks, to be honest. these dudes are just jamming hard as fuck to the tunes they want to play, and they couldnt give two runny shits if some wimp thinks less of them for putting a fucking flute solo on ekassa 34. kickass stuff, really. give it a whirl if u have the balls
33Various Artists (World)
Lagos Chop Up

[highlife] [nigeria] damon albarn aside, honest jons's comps are pretty gnarly, and lagos chop up is no exception. a nice little summary of highlife that could double as a good introduction into the genre. some of the dudes on here i already covered, but it also gets to a few of the highlife greats i didnt have enough space to list, like victor olaiya and rex lawson. definitely worth your time
34Various Artists (World)
Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife...

[highlife/afrofunk] [nigeria] another sweet compilation that does a great job rounding up some quality highlife tunes, and this one even manages to throw a little afrofunk into the mix. just as good as lagos chop up. if you dig this i also highly recommend the compilation Ghana Special: Modern Highlife Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues 1968-81 from the same label (Soundway Records). both are phenomenal
35 Mammane Sani et son Orgue
La musique ?lectronique du Niger

[minimal synth] [niger] just a dude and his organ stirring up hell for the imperialists and rocking out every car wash he sees. p sweet
36 Haruna Ishola Bello & His Apala Group
Oluwa Kii Binu

[apala] [nigeria] apala is this percussion-heavy nigerian folk music that evolved out of islamic prayer songs back in the 30s. dudes only utilize traditional west african instruments and swipe from cuban music sometimes. its super cool and a whole lot more approachable than it sounds on paper. haruna ishola is one of the genres best known practitioners and definitely among its best
37Babatunde Olatunji
Drums of Passion

[apala] [nigeria] prolly the most important apala album, not that thats saying much. made a huge splash in the US when it was released, sold a fuckload of copies and heavily influenced the way westerners came to view world music. gets a lot of accolades and deserves all of em. pitchfork gave this a lower score than girl talks night ripper which means im gonna judokick ryan schreiber in his titty if i ever see him
38King Sunny Ade
Juju Music

[juju] [nigeria] juju is poppier than highlife or afrobeat but at its best, its just as complex. this record, easily the most popular juju record, isnt KSAs best but its the most important thing he ever did. an essential album to know insofar as african music is concerned, but look back into his pre juju music days for the really good stuff
39Ebenezer Obey
In London Vol. 3

[juju] [nigeria] best juju? idk. its close. best obey by far. obviously not as well known as juju music but it deserves to be. also check out the sweet chief obey comp "juju jubilee"
40I.K. Dairo
Juju Master

[juju] [nigeria] juju musics godfather. dairo's influence shaped juju and his fingerprints are visible all over the work of later, more commercially successful juju artists like king sunny ade and chief ebenezer obey. this is a cool comp that does a nice job giving u a feel of dairo's classic period tunes. more minimal than later period juju but covers just as much ground.
41Sir Shina Adewale
Superstar Verse 4

[juju] [nigeria] a complex, ridiculously psychedelic little juju release that just might be my favorite from the genre. super loose, super free-form, and sprawling as fuck, this goes harder than frank ocean during an oz marathon. ill piss on you if you dont listen to this
42Various Artists (World)
Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story...

[afrobeat/afrofunk] [nigeria] like dudes said. the definitive afrobeat comp. i honestly cant think of a more perfect sampler/entry point for the genre. one of the essential african music compilations and chock full of sexy jams. also get Soundway Record's (the same guys who did the Modern Highlife series) Ghana Soundz: Afro-Beat, Funk and Fusion in 70's Ghana for cool ghanaian afrobeat
43Fela Kuti

[afrobeat] [nigeria] everyone knows fela kuti, the originator and king of afrobeat. even people that dont listen to african music. id like to say u already probably heard this but zombie has like 47 ratings here so maybe not. hugely important and unmatchably funky. ill never be able to do it justice so let me just say that dudes entire discog will gnaw on your bones
44William Onyeabor

[afrobeat/afrofunk] [nigeria] fucking immense. funky casio-tinged afrosoul that slaughters all in its path. dude is a king. one of the best afrobeat records and possibly the best onyearbor, between this anything you sow. skip atomic bomb and listen to n'draman blintch's cikamele instead, which onyearbor produced
45Tony Allen
No Discrimination

[afrobeat] [nigeria] complex and awesome afrobeat from a former member of fela kutis band. a must listen if you dig kuti. unfortunately i cant listen to this at church, during a funeral, or on planes as i have this habit of involuntarily jacking off every time i hear road safety but still
46Geraldo Pino
Afro Soco Soul Live

[afrobeat] [sierra leone/nigeria] the godfather of afrobeat. heres a quote from fela kuti: "I was playing highlife jazz when Geraldo Pino came to town in '66 or a bit earlier with soul -- that's what upset everything, man [...] He came to town with James Brown's music, singing 'Hey, hey, I feel all right, ta ta ta ta....' And with such equipment you've never seen, man. This man was tearing Lagos to pieces. After seeing this Pino, I knew I had to get my shit together. And quick!" so yeah, dudes a fucking legend, and this album will rip you a new asshole. listen or ill roundhouse you. if you dig you should also check segun bucknors poor man get no brother comp
47The Lijadu Sisters

[afrobeat] [nigeria] a badass twin sister afrobeat duo. nutcrushing mixture of afrobeat, jazz, reggae, and pop soul. danger is my fav but all their albums slay. some of the rowdiest grooves ever pounded out of 70s nigeria
48 T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou
Reminiscin' in Tempo: African Dancefloor Classis

[afrofunk/highlife] [benin] literally just segments of this record where i get lost in the percussion. others get me dancin and headbanging like some kinda wiggles concert. kinda like soukous but different/better. i dont know how this wild ass shit wound up coming from benin
49Ata Kak
Obaa Sima

[electro] [ghana] oh man you want this. infectiously groovy, super poppy lo-fi four-on-the-floor electro beats married to some jawbreaking bass and squaked over by these endearingly weird vocals that i just cant help but love. awesome african electro, way ahead of its time
50Francis Bebey

[bikutsi] [cameroon] haunting, atmospheric, repetitive, and packed to the brim with these uniquely hypnotic mbira driven melodies that actually benefit from the tape hiss and shitty production. bebey was a fucking nut but he also mightve been a genius. also grab his African Electronic Music 1975-1982 comp
51Manu Dibango
Soul Makossa

[makossa] [cameroon] best known and most loved makossa. shit is literally credited with being the first disco record so u know it brings the cheese. but its awesome. michael jackson loved it so much he interpolated the title track's refrain on "wanna be starting something." mama se mama sa ma ma ka sa lost in this plastic life lets break outta this fake ass na wait thats kanye west
52Andre Marie Tala
Black Woman

[makossa] [cameroon] this could literally be the soundtrack to a blaxsploitation film. just listen to the title track and tell me you cant see sweet sweetback serving up a piping hot plate of 7 inch wang to some half-conscious prostitute or shaft shooting a guy in the fucking chest. i bet quentin tarantino's pasty white ass jams out hard as hell to this one
53Eboa Lottin
Eboa Lottin

[makossa] [cameroon] every time i see dudes name i wanna call him eboa lotion. but for real tho dude basically invented makossa. not as funky as dibango or tala but you can hear the influence when you play it
54Abdel Gadir Salim
The Merdoum Kings Play Songs of Love

[afrojazz/arabic folk/african folk] [sudan] combination of traditional sudanese folk and elements of 70s african pop. funky jazz shit up against stupid bangin oud solos sandwiched in between blippy keyboard synth wizardry. dudes threw every piece of shit they curdled out their ass at the wall and everything stuck
55Abdel Aziz El Mubarak
Abdel Aziz el Mubarak

[sudanese pop] [sudan] literally sudanese wedding music. one of the most famous artists from sudan; its actually got a tiny little case of the jams too. play this at your actual wedding and every hipster in omaha will be lining up around the block to bow down to you/kiss the rings
56Various Artists (World)
The Very Best of Ethiopiques: Hypnotic Grooves...

[ethiopian folk/ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] ethiopiques was a massive multi-disc set exploring deep into ethiopian music and it does a better job presenting the essentials of ethiopia than i ever will. theres like 20+ entries in the series, so this best of should help newbies jump in without getting overwhelmed. some of the most well respected african comps ever made. a bunch of entries cover single artists, but out of the V/A releases id most highly recommend ethiopiques 1, 3, 8, 10, 13, and 24
57 Mahmoud Ahmed
?thiopiques 7: Er? m?la m?la

[tizita] [ethiopia] originally from 1975 and then remastered by ethiopiques in 99. one of the best ethiopian albums ever. bits of jazz, soul, funk, and traditional ethiopian folk all tossed into these hypnotizing, off-kilter grooves thatll get the butts shakin the boners bustlin and the tears (of joy) flowin
58 Tlahoun Gessesse
Ethiopiques 17: Tlahoun G?ss?ss?

[tizita/ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] this is basically soul music at its core, with a unique little mixture of funk and arabic influence mixed in too. dudes got a hell of a voice
59Alemayehu Eshete
Ethiopiques 9: Alemayehu Eshete (1969-1974)

[tizita/ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] dont buy into the "ethiopian james brown" bullshit. every african funk artist gets that comparison, and its to the point where im forced to question whether white music critics even know any other funky black guys other than james brown. this dudes arrangements are sick and its disappointing to see the subtleties of these soul records glossed over by that single stupid ass point of reference
60Aster Aweke
Aster Aweke

[tizita] [ethiopia] awesome tapes from africa dropped this on their blog in 2010 with literally no background info whatsoever, so fuck if i know much about it. all i know is its some of the best, most minimal tizita ive ever heard and stomps the hell out of anything aster aweke did afterwards
61 Mulatu Astatke
Ethiopiques 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale

[ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] THE ethio-jazz album. if you could only listen to one ethio-jazz album in your entire life, this would be the one to pick. somewhere in its runtime this thing ascends to a higher plane of existence and one of these days i swear ill catch up. also check getatchew mekurya's ethiopiques 14 for more choice ethio-jazz
62Hailu Mergia
Tche Belew

[ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] musical silt is sweeeet. this is some seriously underappreciated ethio-jazz -- i mean, it even has mulatu on it, playin the fuckin vibraphone! hailu mergia also put out another album called shemonmuanaye that was reissued by awesome tapes from africa just this year so check that too
63Bezunesh Bekele
Yenat Weleta

[ethio-jazz] [ethiopia] more cool non ethiopiques ethio-jazz, this time from one of ethiopias most popular divas. the vocal work here is crucial. also check out kuku sebsebe's munaye for stuff in a similar vein
64Bereket Mengisteab

[tigrinya] [eritrea] badass guitar-driven yodel-heavy eritrean folk that was apparently recorded in the back of some dudes van on tin foil and radioshack walkee-talkees
65Various Artists (World)
Ethiopiques 5: Tigrigna Music 1970-1975

[tigrinya] [eritrea] more cool tigrinya stuff, this time from the ethiopiques people. the production is actually good here, so it might be a bit more approachable than lebay. idk
66Maryam Mursal
The Journey

[qaraami] [somalia] oud-heavy folk music from a member of the somali group waaberi. wasnt expecting the fucking synth breakdowns tho. weird this shit came out of somalia in 98 but i guess not all of post-91 somalia is a smoldering crater of hell all the time
67Dur-Dur Band
Volume 5

[qaraami/afro-funk] [somalia] qaraami from the 80s that takes a less traditional route and mixes the genres arabic origins with more modern afrofunk stylings. lost for a while in the chaos that is post-1991 somalia but the dudes from awesome tapes from africa remastered it just this year. also, if you want to hear some heavy duty somali porno music, check out the somali funk band Iftin
68Daniel Owino Misiani and Shirati Jazz Band
Benga Blast!

[soukous] [kenya] soukous (african rumba) is a dr congo based mixture of congolese folk music and cuban rumba. how the fuck it ended up all the way in kenya ill never know, and how the fuck this particular strain of kenyan soukous ended up so good ill also never know. but damn if it doesnt put 90% of the chumps in the dr congo to shame
69 Franco & TPOK Jazz
Francophonic Vol.1 1953 - 1980

[soukous] [dr congo] the kings of soukous. franco & tpok jazz had a massive career that spawned an unreal amount of albums and, along with tabu ley rochereau, essentially birthed the genre of soukous. this franco & tpok comp is crazy & somehow manages to whittle down three decades worth of music into two discs. essential listening. also take a look into the discographies of former tpok members sam mangwana, verckys, and simaro massiya lutumba
70Tabu Ley Rochereau
The Voice of Lightness: Congo Classics 1961-1977

[soukous] [dr congo] the king of soukous. one of the most important soukous musicians ever, a seminal component of grand kalle et l'african jazz and founding member of orchestre african fiesta (until it split into two groups, one of which he was the bandleader of). dudes voice is like the silky mane of a beautiful horse as it gallops through the heart of a dew soaked grassland. its so beautiful and sensuous that i want to grope it in my hot tub and sip red wine out of its delicate cupped hands. this is my fav tabu comp. watch out for side 2 in particular; that shit rocks so hard that i had to have my face surgically reconstructed after hearing it. also check out dudes wife m'bilia bel, who made a few good soukous tunes herself
71Franco and Rochereau
Omona Wapi

[soukous] [dr congo] thats right you ungrateful motherfuckers. the two indisputable soukous kings decided that their massive discographies had not yet rocked enough face, and as a result, the only way they could remedy this was by collaborating on a fucking JOINT ALBUM that did nothing but BRING THE FUCKING HEAT until every living being in a 50 mile radius was either rocked to death or dying of leukemia. rumor has it this album rocked so hard that it inspired the nic cage movie face/off. jesus h christ on a segway, calling this a masterpiece would be like calling any other album a piece of shit. if you took the godfather and replaced marlon brando with steven seagal and then condensed this new film into musical form, this is what would come out. this record will shove you up your own ass and then suplex your fucked up body into the white house and you will love every minute of it
72 Docteur Nico
Docteur Nico & l'Orchestre African Fiesta

[soukous] [dr congo] docteur nico is basically tabu ley rochereau's arch soukous nemesis. he played alongside rochereau in grand kalle et l'african jazz and actually formed orchestre african fiesta with him, but then nico decided he wanted to use his furious riffs for evil, so then they split and formed two different groups (both still named orchestre african fiesta). dude slays tho. top tier soukous
73Papa Wemba
The First Twenty Years: 1977-1997

[soukous] [dr congo] big big name in soukous and member of hugely popular soukous band zaiko langa langa. the congolese media association called ZLL the best congolese band of the 20th century, but thats a load of bullshit. ZLL sucks ass. nevertheless, this is a cool comp with tons of sweet tunes. also check pepe kalle's l'argent ne fait pas le bonheur!, diblo dibala's super soukous, and kanda bongo man's kwassa kwassa for more late period soukous
74Various Artists (World)
Soul of Angola: Anthology of Angolan Music 65/75

[kizomba/semba] [angola] kizomba and semba are two of the most well defined genres of angolan popular music. semba is traditional angolan folk, whereas kizomba is semba mixed with dominican merengue -- its amazing, complex stuff and i cant even begin to do it justice with my lame ass description. give it a listen, give it six listens. its not always instant but its pretty consistently excellent
Angola 74

[kizomba] [angola] an absolutely gorgeous voice backed by some of the subtlest grooves in kizomba, with lots of earthy, somber tones and taking big cues from afrobeat and latin music. more upbeat than angola 72 but more mature in key ways. a perfect introduction to angolan music if soul of angola's 40 tracks is too intimidating
Wings of Africa

[zam-rock] [zambia] zam-rock is a cool strain of psychedelic rock mixed with afrobeat/funk and it jams harder than my dick in a doorway when the russians find out i paid em in chocolate money. some of the first and some of the best zamrock, with groups like WITCH following in its wake. just listen to that percussion. shit makes me wanna rip my shirt off and spear an antelope

[kalindula] [zambia] kalindula is speedy, rumba-style music based primarily around the deep bass of the zambian kalindula bass guitar. amayenge is the most popular artist in the genre, and maybe even in all of zambia, although they've apparently been in on shaky ground their original band leader died in 2003. regardless, its gnarly stuff. fans of rumba in particular will dig this
78Bhundu Boys
The Shed Sessions 1982-1986

[chimurenga/jit] [zimbabwe] chimurenga is a type of zimbabwean pop that takes the structure of traditional mbira music and swaps the mbira for modern electric instruments. bhundu boys play a style called jit, which takes chimurenga and combines it with american pop/disco/country, soukous, and tanzanian guitar folk. grab this sweet comp and their album shabini and youll be groovin for days
79The Four Brothers

[chimurenga] [zimbabwe] (note: this listing is for makorokoto the album, not makorokoto the best of compilation) one of the bigger names in chimurenga. a good example of by the books zimbabwe street-pop; not as cool and forward thinking as thomas mapfumo but not westernized horseshit either. for the origins of this style check mapfumo's gwindingwi rine shumba, and for and version check oliver mtukudzi and stella chiweshe
80Thomas Mapfumo

[chimurenga] [zimbabwe] mapfumo is basically the don of chimurenga. his older stuff is mostly underdeveloped but corruption was where he really hit the sweet spot. this album was basically one big fuck you to robert mugabe and mapfumo had to leave the country after releasing it. top tier chimurenga from the first & best chimurenga artist. also grab the mapfumo comp The Chimurenga Singles: 1976-1980
81The Green Arrows
4-Track Recording Session

[jit] [zimbabwe] huge band in the 70s, then died out in the 80s. their first album chirpo chiroorwa was groundbreaking stuff and massively popular and was reissued in 06 as 4-track recording session. best intro to the band, good intro to the genre.
82Dumisani Maraire
The African Mbira: Music of the Shona People...

[mbira music] [zimbabwe] badass mbira (thumb piano) music. relaxing as hell
83Various Artists (World)
Music of Madagascar: Traditional Recordings...

[malagasy folk] [madagascar] ive spent many a sleepless night lost in the intricacies of this masterpiece. if you listen in closely you can even hear the traditional folk musicians watching madagascar 2: escape 2 africa and eating their own goddamn arms off in a blind rage
84 D'Gary
Akata Meso

[malagasy folk] [madagascar] heres a modern on the folk music of madagascar. get malagasy guitar first then get this. ben stiller is actually featured on this album you can hear him on the set of madagascar 3 upholding cultural stereotypes of africans & shouting for d'gary to "play hakuna matana already you savage motherfucker"
85 The Ngqoko Women's Ensemble
Afrique du Sud: Le chant des femmes Xhosa

[nguni/xhosa folk music] [south africa] womens choir music, occasionally broken up by weird stretches of simply arranged instrumental music. its absolutely fucking mind blowing. my absolute fav of the south african nguni choir records
86Various Artists (World)
The Indestructible Beat of Soweto

[mbaqanga/maskanda/mbibe] [south africa] the greatest/most influential/most critically loved south african comp ever. the definitive mbaqanga collection, with tracks from mavulethas best artists. from here you should expand out into west nkosi/makgona tsohle band, malathini, and makossa pioneer shiyani ngcobo. lots of records from the golden age of mbaqanga (60s/70s) are near impossible to find, so if you like this kinda shit you should check out nick lotays MASSIVE compilations of rare but essential mbaqanga over at electricjive. start with Classic South African Jive & Mavuthela - Sound of the Sixties
87Mahotella Queens
Izibani Zomgqashiyo

[mbaqanga] [south africa] mahotella queens are the dominant mbaqanga girl band -- a staple of the genre, girl bands did background work on other artists records and occasionally recorded tapes of their own. i like this album better than their malathini era stuff, which is much better known. also check out their rival girl group izintombi zesi manje manje, who are just as important, if much lesser known
88Dark City Sisters
Star Time with the Dark City Sisters

[mbaqanga] [south africa] mahotella may have popularized the format, but dark city sisters invented it. a crucial mbaqanga record and the beginnings of a format that would go on to completely shape the genre
89 Various Artists (World)
Township Jazz 'n' Jive

[kwela/marabi/mbaqanga/cape jazz] [south africa] holy shit. i didnt think a comp of 50s south african street pop would jam this fucking hard, but its absolute fire and some of the catchiest, coolest shit ive ever heard from the country. sweet pennywhistle jazz, mbube choirs, proto-mbaqanga and tons of 40s swing influence. youd be crazier than a fish with titties to pass this up
90Miriam Makeba

[marabi] [south africa] south africas most popular artist? idk. definitely one of, if not the, most well known. massively popular inside the country and in the western world, both for her music and her politics/experiences. her song pata pata is her biggest hit but i dig her sangoma era stuff more. also check out her husband hugh masekela for cool sax-based cape jazz
91Yvonne Chaka Chaka

[bubblegum/synth pop/mbaqanga] [south africa] my favorite of the two sangomas. bubblegum is essentially south african bubblegum pop mixed with bits of mbaqanga, and if you have as much of a soft spot for cheesy 80s synth pop as i do, youll love this tape. south africans refer to her as the "princess of africa" and shes squadded up hella hard with all the other SA divas, like makeba and dorothy masuka
92Johnny Dyani
Song for Biko

[avant-garde jazz/cape jazz] [south africa] a forgotten avant-garde jazz masterpiece that catches a lot of comparisons to ornette coleman. some of the best jazz in all of africa, and if you need more incentive to give this a listen, just know that don cherry is on here too, in tip top shape summoning the gods of groove with his mighty pure brass cornet. and hes not even the part youll pay attention to. also check also check louis moholo's spirits rejoice! for more top-tier african avant-garde jazz
93Dollar Brand
Good News From Africa

[cape jazz] [south africa] an equally obscure cape jazz classic, filed under dollar brand (aka abdullah ibrahim) but really a collaboration between him and johnny dyani. a beautifully orchestrated mixture of traditional african folk elements and post-bop that gets compared a lot to roland kirks stuff. the dudes over at allmusic absolutely lost their fucking minds over this
94Abdullah Ibrahim
African Marketplace

[cape jazz] [south africa] this could probably be filed under dollar brand too, since abdullah ibrahim basically is dollar brand. but maaaaaan, the band hes assembled here is just completely insane. some of the most festive, folky jazz i've ever heard. its sweet
95Dudu Pukwana
In the Townships

[cape-jazz] [south africa] prepare your anus for immediate entry. USS_RIFFS is about to board
96Dr. Duda and Dr. M-bee
House Prescription

[kwaito] [south africa] kwaito is a slowed down form of house mixed up with bowel-obliterating basslines and lots of chopped up african sounds. its some of the coolest, most inventive shit coming out of modern day africa, and if you like hip hop youll definitely find some common ground here. this is a collab between two of kwaitos biggest names and its one of my favorites from the genre. also check out dj mujava's sgubhu sa pitori for more sick party jams
97 DJ Cleo
Es'khaleni Unit 5

[kwaito] [south africa] another sweet kwaito record from a guy that often gets described as the king of kwaito. es'khaleni 4 is probably his most loved release, so grab that and this at the same time.
98Various Artists (World)
Mzansi Music: Young Urban South Africa

[kwaito] [south africa] pretty solid early-2000s kwaito comp that anyone trying to get into the genre should check out. covers a lot of the big names that i didnt have the space to get to here
99Various Artists (World)
Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music...

[shangaan electro] [south africa] modern minimal south african shangaan dance music, patched together with cheap toy keyboards, sped up head spinningly fast, and then harmonized over by shangaan choirs. its inexplicably catchy, too HAM to slow down, and one of my favorite honest jon's comps ever. you wont have to worry about your legs falling asleep after listening to this, because you wont even have any legs left
100Penny Penny
Shaka Bundu

[tsonga disco] [south africa] the grooviest 90s synth pop from one of the coolest regions of SA. this will hit you so hard in the balls that your sack will literally flip back and get swooped up into your butthole. ya its corny but trust me if you jam it loud hard and often youll gain supernatural powers and eventually transcend this mortal plane of existence, becoming one, on one wavelength, with all that is funky in the universe. if you like this stuff check out, the official tsonga disco blog of the internet
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