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Friday 5 January 2018

Somali Stew

For the avoidance of doubt, the "Stew" in the title refers to the food made by mixing different ingredients together to make something tasty, not Somali Stew the self-styled ladies' man and menace of the Mogadishu disco scene.

However, that Stew would undoubtedly have been familiar with today's tracks. Mogadishu in the 1980s was awash with bands mixing traditional Somali sounds with funk and jazz and coming up with something new - in the same way as had happened in neighbouring Ethiopia in the 1970s before the Derg put a stop to that sort of thing.

However, whereas the Ethiopian music of that era was rediscovered and reintroduced to the waiting world a while back, the same doesn't seem to have happened with the Somali sounds. But that may begin to change thanks to the good people at Ostinato Records, who last year released a compilation called "Sweet As Broken Dates". It is well worth a listen.

That album features a couple of tracks by Dur-Dur Band, who were the big cheeses of the Somali scene. Here are a couple more, taken from their 1986 album "Rafaad iyo Raaxo". The sound quality is a bit ropey, but I don't mind if you don't.

"Rag Kaleeto Maa Kuu Riyaaqayee" - Dur-Dur Band

"Ilwaad Quruxeey" - Dur-Dur Band

From Dur-Dur, we move seamlessly to this...

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