Ngoma Process – A Bruce Odhiambo Project.
This is a CD that would fit neatly into the category ‘ World Music’, though i would call it something like Kenyan Ngoma. There is Kapuka, Genge, Bongo, time for the genre Kenya ngoma? The CD has the types of songs that have a cultural thumbprint; it is immediately identifiable to Kenyans. You know that deep down familiarity that makes you feel intouch with your homeland. Rythms that sing to a certain part of your being, where you feel ‘aah this is home’. Now add some sharp production work, really good musicianship and voila! or… haiya! you have a good CD that you can play at a party for your pals, kenyan and non-kenyan alike. What i am trying to say is that for Non Kenyans, this is a really good CD that gives you sense of the rythms kenyans like. It has Taarab, folk – maasai/kalenjin, Luo, and Benga influences.
Afew thoughts on my favourite songs:
Asai: A kalenjin/Maasai song is the first on this great CD. It is a welcome song*, warm, inviting – picture maasaiâ??s, or anyone for that matter hugging each other saying hello. If I was or when i get to be music video producer, this is the song I would like to do montages with. Its really neat. I would do something like â??Where the hell is Matt,â? but show hugs all over Kenya or Africa, between kids and mums, kids and dads, kids and kids, kids and pets, pets and pets…
(If you are a new afromusing reader – be warned, i tend to be very corny)
Like the title suggests this is a tribute to mums everywhere. Especially Jaluo mums (I am just kidding) Its upbeat, feels heartfelt, beautiful singing by Mercy Myra. I think this song that clearly exemplifies Bruce Odhiamboâ??s talent as a producer. How to listen… (preferably if you have an office swivel chair): Put your arms around the back of your head, lean back on your chair close your eyes, listen and imagine yourself sitting at a Lake victoria resort…
In the vein of isicathamiya – An acapella singing style from South Africa. Itâ??s a beautiful showcase of Mercyâ??s and Uballeâ??s voice. It ends too quickly. It leaves you wanting more. I was expecting the second part of the song to have accompaniment, but I still play this track more than once. Its gorgeous. (That is the word that came to mind!)
Isich â?? John Kiarie (K.J.)
Fun song, especially if you are familiar with Eastleigh, an estate in Nairobi: â??Mogadishu Ndogoâ?[small mogadishu], â??Estate moja kali kama nagasaki Ratha! Ratha! Si waria naambia nyinyi hakuna brefte brefte 100%” (pronounce pehRRrr-sent), about the things you can buy (including weapons).
KJ of Redykyulas channels one of the characters from their sketch shows -Waria.
VERDICT: Buy this CD, throw a party with good wine (did you know that there is Tanzanian wine? ) Relax and dance whenever it strikes you to. The world is in much too much turmoil , chill with this.
You can listen to more songs on the jcleff jukebox, and buy a copy on Jcleff.com once its fully set up, or use their contact page. It would be really good if it could be available on Calabash music – they have the music e-commerce thing down pat, plus it would have a more global stage, maybe later.
The official launch of the CD will be in Nairobi, tentatively set for early December per Bruce, so the CD will be available there.
If more info lands on my lap…you know it will be blogged here. (aaaw, my first exclusive? – give it love…)
*welcome songs are just that – to welcome someone, often sung at get-togethers or even at meetings to welcome dignitaries and such…a short example is the song done by the women in this documentary on Wangari Maathai.