September 27, 2009


I have digitised this album from cassette a while ago, but hesitated posting it because I don't have - and can't find - the sleeve. The quality of the copy is not a problem, as I am sure you will agree. I am slowly even becoming more and more convinced that cassette copies have a better survival rate than the vinyl originals...
To compensate for the lack of sleeve, I have decided to add a second record to this post. Vinyl, - so with sleeve.

Both "Kweya" and "Djalenga" are compilations, the first from Polygram Kenya and the second from a presumably British "Swahili" label (of which I have only seen this record). The Kweya compilation contains some real jewels, including the extraordinary "Jua Lako" by Moja One and "Dunia Hakuna Bingwa" by Ibeba System (you can read about the complex relationship between some of the bands in this compilation on muzikifan's site). The title song by Orchestra Virunga is a curious example of the use of a drum machine.

Although I have found no confirmation for this, I strongly suspect the band named as Les Lashow is led by Lessa Lassan, who has two tracks on the "Djalenga" compilation. He seems to have looked for musical inspiration with Tabu Ley. The "Djalenga" songs are enjoyable, but I favour the one on "Kweya".

Super Lovy, with Vicky Longomba's son, is another band with ties to Moja One and Ibeba. Their "Etali Yomoko" is not one of their better songs, if you ask me.
'Odd ones out' in these two compilations are Sam Mangwana on "Kweya" with "Masai", in the unique relaxed Mangwana style (I like the ox imitations at the end), and "Nimesha-Kwambia" by Super Wanyika on "Djalenga", - a great track for long busrides.

POLP 561*
12 SWAH 001

* come to think of it, it is likely the number should be 551, as Muzikifan states.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed both albums, but really liked the "Kweya" selection more. The Moja One track is a great vehicle for Moreno's voice.


poltroon said...

You are right the Moja One song is exceptional, thanks for posting it. But, again, the drum machine on Virunga really puts a damper on the show! However, ANY new Sam Mangwana from this golden era is like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls!

WrldServ said...

@poltroon: There will more Dead Sea Scrolls in the near future then...
I tend to agree about the drum machine, but over the years I have got used to it, and then the track is not too bad.