Bollywood Inspired Film Music from Hausa Nigeria
February 1, 2014 6:15 AM   Subscribe

The Hausa people of the north of Nigeria like Bollywood films so much that around 20 years ago they started making their own local productions. The films of Kannywood (for Kano, the capital city) feature song and dance - and the incredible music that defines Northern Nigeria: autotuned robotic vocals combined with frenetic drum machine rhythms and intricate, interwoven synths in a hybrid of local styles and Indian influence. Hear a generous sampling of it here.
posted by flapjax at midnite (16 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

We sell that record on vinyl at my store. It's great as are most things on that label.
posted by dobbs at 7:15 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

So a record of music pretty much made on computers gets sold on vinyl? That's a bit odd.
posted by Zarkonnen at 7:23 AM on February 1

We're listening to this right now and it's GREAT. In fact, I'm going to buy the record (um, the mp3s, sorry Zarkonnen). I had no idea of Kannywood before this post — I'd heard of Nollywood, but didn't realise there was so much of a regional differentiation in the Nigerian film industry. Wikipedia says:
... distinct regional variations appear between the northern movies made primarily in the Hausa language, the western Yoruba movies, the Edo language movies shot in Benin City, the Igbo movies shot in the southeast and the Epie Movies shot in the south south. Many of the big producers have offices in Surulere, Lagos.
posted by daisyk at 7:29 AM on February 1

From Sahel Sounds, who also put together Music from Saharan Cellphones. Here's their blog on this Northern Nigeria album.
posted by Nelson at 8:03 AM on February 1

LOVE the music, and if you want to see some of the movies, start here and then go through the sidebar.
posted by maudlin at 8:04 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

Zarkonnen: things printed on paper that came from software are also fairly popular. These days, even if someone explicitly mentions they use "analog" gear, they are almost always using standalone digital processors as part of their rig. It isn't about any quality that is lost with digital, but rather the mystique and aura that are acquired when you signify a departure from the computerized.
posted by idiopath at 8:13 AM on February 1 [2 favorites]

... autotuned robotic vocals...

I believe the word you are looking for is vocoder - and too much of it is not a good thing.
posted by sour cream at 8:20 AM on February 1

Vocoding is an old pure-analog data compression method that happened to also result in robotic synthy vocals (probably hit its peak of popularity in the '70s). But these days most people are getting the synthesized processed voice sound by cranking the parameters in the melodyne autotune pitch corrector (or some clone / workalike) to extreme values.
posted by idiopath at 8:47 AM on February 1

So a record of music pretty much made on computers gets sold on vinyl? That's a bit odd.

Welcome to the eighties.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:02 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

What a cool thing that I had never heard of before! Thanks!
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:00 AM on February 1

Interesting! Nigeria is a fascinating place. Glad to hear news about the north that isn't Boko Haram-related.
posted by faceattack at 11:19 AM on February 1

I love the Sahel Sounds label. This record of vintage electronic keyboard music from Nigeria is awesome.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 11:27 AM on February 1 [1 favorite]

The numbers that soft-pedal the auto-tuning are, to my ears, much more enjoyable. Ugh, what an odd and off-putting addition from Western pop music. I'd love to hear this music with unprocessed vocals, which, I realize, is a feature, not a bug, of the genre, but still.
posted by the sobsister at 1:35 PM on February 1

I believe the word you are looking for is vocoder

No, that's not the word I was looking for.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 PM on February 1 [4 favorites]

That is some California Love vocoder right there!
posted by faceattack at 12:10 PM on February 4

That is some California Love vocoder right there!

1. No it isn't. It's autotune.
2. "California Love" wasn't a vocoder either; it was a talkbox.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:29 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]

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