Various Artists – Thum Nyatiti: Recordings from Western Kenya, 1930​-​1970

This is another stunning collection from Dagoretti Records out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The collection features music from the 1930s until the 1970s with clearly remastered sound.  From the release’s Bandcamp site:

“Nyatiti music’s infectious and hypnotic sounds are unforgettable. The driving beat of the nyatiti rings of far off styles of Western dance and techno music. Nyatiti players are highly respected performers in both rural and urban Kenya are called to show up at weddings, funerals and drinking halls and sing songs in tribute, in remembrance and for people to drink and dance to. Nyatiti music can still be heard to this day all over Kenya, but these recordings represent the unique sound of the first half of the 20th century, and the last visages of the sounds that existed for millennia previous before the music would change to adapt to a changing world.

Most of these recordings were made by British and Indian entrepreneurs, who sold 78 rpm records to foreign and domestic record buyers. These records were in part intended to document what was seen as an exotic and possibly dying music in colonial Kenya but enjoyed by Afro-Kenyans who presumably listened to these records at parties or through radio. Unfortunately, not much is known about the origin of these records or who bought them. The scant information included on the records make tracing the roots of this music difficult.”

A great document of a rarely covered genre of music.

Blogger, label owner, record store buyer and all around charming lad who loves to share music with one and all.

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