Livy Ekemezie, Ebo Taylor and Mulatu Astatke – Discuss

I’ve stumbled upon several artists from African nations over the past few weeks and wanted to share them with you and get your opinions about their music.  In our collection at home we have a few albums by musicians from Africa; they are probably the usual suspects – Fela and Femi Kuti, Bhundu Boys, a couple of great compilations, a band from Ivory Coast called Magic System, which my brother in law bought for me after a trip to see my father in law, who lives in Ghana and one of their songs was constantly on the radio.  The recent death of William Onyeabor introduced me to his music.  Other than that, my shelves are pretty blank when it comes to music from this continent.

From various sources the following three artists came onto my radar.  All different and all fantastic.

Livy Ekemezie – Friday Night.  I know almost nothing about this fella other than he comes from Nigeria and this is a re-release of a long lost EP.  It’s so funky and just makes me want to dance!

Ebo Taylor – Ene Nyame ‘A’ Mensuro.  I know this guy comes from Ghana and this seems to be a remix of a track on an album of his from 1977.  Again really funky.

Mulatu Astatke – Yegelle Tezeta.  An Ethiopian jazz musician.  This track was sampled by Damian Marley and Nas on As We Enter (I think, but happy to be corrected).

Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge.  What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?

Reconciliation

It’s Friday.  Good Friday.  I normally publish a post in the afternoon and I will today, if I get around to it.  But I’ve felt uneasy this morning and feel compelled to write something.  I’m not a religious person, but was educated at a strict Catholic school, so this time of year brings back memories of sorrow followed by celebration.  This isn’t going to be a lesson about the meaning of Easter, but perhaps my memories and my innate dislike and discomfort with conflict has urged me to add this post.  Sorry if I’m rambling.

Yesterday as the RR topic of the week launched over at the Guardian at 8pm UK time, it was clear pretty quickly there was a problem.  Comments with YouTube links were being modded, causing annoyance and frustration.  During the discussion, some harsh words were said – I’ll admit to agreeing with the general sentiment, but the words themselves were overly strong and perhaps unnecessary, although I don’t think they were targeted at anyone in particular.

How totally ridiculous and childish we can be sometimes – I hope I’ve not caused offensive or upset by agreeing with comments last night.  That was never my intention and I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of others either.

We are drawn to this site, RR and The Song Bar for our love of music – the end.  We visit the various sites out of personal preference, what works for us in terms of timings and technology – at the end of the day, we all love music; how it makes us feel, the memories it stirs, the joy it brings and the tears it invokes.  Music is the centre of this community, and without community we may as well just give up.

So, at this time when many of us celebrate new beginnings and forgiveness, I was thinking about reconciliation.  We are trying to keep this blog going and have seen some real enthusiasm and new energy around here in the last few weeks from contributors and commenters that use all the sites I referred to above.  It would be a shame for silly hostilities about nothing in particular to cause unnecessary rifts.  I would hate to see that happen.  I wanted to share an appropriate song, but my mind has gone pretty blank…there are two songs I will share though (not really about reconciliation I’m afraid), I’m sure you can think of much better ones than me.

I love the sentiment in this Mumford & Sons track, especially the line

But I will hope as long as you like, just promise me we’ll be all right.

And this week, after having been to see Mama Mia in London last week, my 11 year old daughter discovered Abba Gold.  She already knew many of their songs, but she now knows many more!  She has belted this one out while bouncing on the trampoline several times this week.  It seemed fitting to add it.

I’m really sorry about this nonsense ramble; I just dumped my brain.  If you can think of other more fitting tracks or have any general comments, I’d love to hear from you.