Boomkat Product Review:
Do the Mogadishu hustle with Analog Africa’s superb new salvo, centring on Somalian dance music between 1972-1991 with 12 cuts ranging from tuff reggae chops to dubbed-out disco, tempo-switching funk, psychy audities and entrancing traditionals
“After being blown away by a few tunes – probably just as you will be after listening to this - Samy Ben Redjeb travelled to the infamous capital city of Somalia in November of 2016, making Analog Africa the first music label to set foot in Mogadishu.
On his arrival in Somalia Samy began rifling through piles of cassettes and listening to reel-to-reel tapes in the dusty archives of Radio Mogadishu, looking for music that "swam against the current".
The stars were aligned: an uncovered and unmarked pile of discarded recordings was discovered in a cluttered corner of the building. Colonel Abshir - the senior employee and protector of Radio Mogadishu's archives - clarified that the pile consisted mostly of music nobody had manage to identify, or music he described as being "mainly instrumental and strange music". At the words "strange music" Samy was hooked, the return flight to Tunisia was cancelled.
The pile turned out to be a cornucopia of different sounds: radio jingles, background music, interludes for radio programmes, television shows and theatre plays. There were also a good number of disco tunes, some had been stripped of their lyrics, the interesting parts had been recorded multiple times then cut, taped together and spliced into a long groovy instrumental loop. Over the next three weeks, often in watermelon, grapefruit juice and shisha-fuelled night-time sessions behind the fortified walls of Radio Mogadishu, Samy and the archive staff put together "Mogadisco: Dancing Mogadishu, 1974–1991”.”