Halkaasad Dhigi Magtiisa (That's Where You'll Leave His Reward)
Iiso Daymo (Look At Me)
Wiil Wille (The Jumping Man)
Review: Since Dijbouti gained independence in 1977, no music made in the tiny East African nation has been released internationally. Yet the country is blessed with some superb musicians, many of which play for Groupe RTD, the in-house musical ensemble of the state broadcaster. "The Dancing Devils of Dijbouti", their brand-new debut album, was recorded after hours at the RTD studio and offers thrilling glimpse into the unique musical fusions popular in the country. From start to finish, the album offers up a succession of sublime cuts that somehow join the dots between Bollywood-style vocals, NYC jazz, Somalian funk, Middle Eastern synthesizer sounds and, most surprisingly of all, Jamaican dub and reggae. It's a stunning and genuinely eye-opening combination.
Raga Kaan Ka'Eegtow (You Are The One I Love) (6:02)
Kuusha Caarey (The Pearl Necklace) (4:06)
Raani (Queen) (6:57)
Alto's Interlude (2:09)
Uurkan Kaadonaya (I Want You) (6:49)
Halkaasad Dhigi Magtiisa (That's Where You'll Leave His Reward) (4:21)
Iiso Daymo (Look At Me) (4:03)
Suuban (Joy) (4:59)
Wiil Wille (The Jumping Man) (2:11)
Review: This record claims to be the first ever international release to come from Djibouti, a secret hotbed of musical goodness in East Africa. The country is a small and often overlooked land but once you dig deep you'll find a culture brimming with vitality despite the fact almost every band in the land is a national enterprise. In 2016, that changed when Ostinato Records met with senior officials of Radiodiffusion-Television Djibouti to discuss a lifting of the rules and three years later they were granted access to the archives and have put together this record, helmed by sax maestro Mohamed Abdi Alto and stuffed with essential afro styled funk and soul.
Dur Dur Band - "Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee (Rejected Due To My Circumstance)" (feat Muqtar Idi Ramadan) (4:22)
Iftiin Band - "Anaa Qaylodhaankaan" (feat Mahmud Abdalla "Jerry" Hussen) (5:23)
Review: In 1988, on the eve of the civil war that began to tear apart Somalia in the early 1990s, an intrepid band of broadcasters and journalists secretly salvaged some 10,000 cassettes of homegrown music from the archives of Radio Hargeissa in Somaliland. Almost 30 years on, those tapes have finally been mined for Sweet as Broken Dates, a brilliant compilation that finally showcases some of the multitude of gems that were recorded and released in the country between the late '60s and early '90s. It's a brilliant collection, all told, full of exotic music that combines Western styles - soul, funk, disco, pop, reggae, boogie, psychedelic rock and even early hip-hop- with musical influences from the wider region (most notably Arabic and tropical music from islands in the Indian Ocean). In other words, it should be an essential purchase.