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21 posts tagged with africa by flapjax at midnite.
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Bollywood Inspired Film Music from Hausa Nigeria

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 on Feb 1, 2014 - 16 comments

Back to the source

Many of you are perhaps familiar with the berimbau, a musical bow with a calabash resonator, best known as an instrument for accompanying the Brazilian dance/martial art known as capoeira. But the roots of the instrument lie, as you might guess, in Africa. Still, it's not often we get a chance to hear the original African version of the instrument being played. This video, though, in which one Chris Haambwiila of Zambia conjures up an intricate, bewitching groove, is one that will be of interest to those who enjoy elemental and unadulterated human rhythmic expression. And the two little boys getting down to the sound will win your heart, for sure.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 3, 2013 - 22 comments

Around the World Circuit

An effortless melding of Malian and western styles topped off by the gorgeously smoky voice of Fatoumata Diawara. The infectiously brisk tempo, chiming guitar artistry and tight, rapid fire harmonies of Shirati Jazz. The warmly grounded choral expression of South Africa's Black Umfolosi. The delicate, calmly unfolding wellspring of melody (starting off with a classic Morricone spaghetti-western quote!) of kora master Toumani Diabate. The loping, balafon-driven groove over which the majestic, declamatory voice of Oumou Sangare soars. The classic, Cuban-inspired rhumba (but with the distinctively African feel and sound) of Orchestra Baobab... all these modern treasures of African music and much, much more from Africa and beyond at the World Circuit Soundcloud page. Enjoy the ride!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 18, 2013 - 5 comments

Hugh Tracey's African music recordings

Like folk enthusiasts and field recordists John and Alan Lomax did in the US, Englishman Hugh Tracey documented an astonishing amount of traditional music. Tracey's love was the music of central and southern Africa, and his recording work came at a crucial time in the history of the region, when, due to repression from Christian missionaries as well as great social change and migration, traditional music of various kinds was fast disappearing. The hour-long audio documentary Discover and Record: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey is an excellent introduction to the man and his work, and is chock full of some absolutely fantastic music. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 22, 2012 - 6 comments

dinner time

Wildebeest and zebra are attacked by crocodiles as they cross the Mara river.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 22, 2012 - 22 comments

FOLI

I don't think you could find a better illustration of the grace, beauty and compelling power of African rhythm and sensibility than this 10 minute film.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 5, 2012 - 26 comments

a new meaning for the term 'drum head'

Can the human head itself function as a percussion instrument? Why, yes! Yes it can!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 26, 2011 - 22 comments

African electronica comes into its own

Want to know what's going on in African electronic / dance music? The BAZZERK blog will help bring you up to speed. Chock full of fun, fresh stuff. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2011 - 6 comments

To sing? Or blow the flute? How about both? Yeah!

When you think of African music, flutes may not be the first instruments that come to mind, but across West Africa there are some flute traditions that often involve a unique combination of vocalizing and blowing into the instrument, resulting in some amazing music that's a hella lotta fun to listen to. There are some nice examples on YouTube here, here, here and here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 9, 2010 - 16 comments

Bambino, rocking the guitar, Tuareg style

The other day someone asked me "who's the most deeply grooving and truly exciting electric guitar player you've heard lately?" and I said "this guy".
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 10, 2010 - 82 comments

Better than Paganini

Condomise, sings Babsi! Babsi, born 1933, playing the song Mabelete (Bitches) on the "Fenjoro" which he built from a plastic container, wood and strings from a handbrake cable of a car: it normally has 4 strings like the violin, but one broke.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 5, 2010 - 10 comments

Ronnie of Botswana, on guitar

OK. Alright. That's it. Ronnie of Botswana is my new favorite guitarist.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 19, 2010 - 67 comments

Alekpehanhou, and the funky moves he inspires

Just in case you were wondering, yes, indeed, it is the people who dance to Zinli music in Benin who have the coolest, freshest dance moves on the planet. Once you get past the extended a cappella intro, and that delicious slow groove kicks in at the 3:26 minute mark, this video will treat you to some of the most undulating funky moves EVAR. Now, whether you wanna try some of these gyrations yourself, or whether you just dig a nice, slow, cooly percolating West African groove for listening, go here for more from singer Alekpehanhou the "Roi du Zinli Rénové". [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 23, 2009 - 16 comments

Music Is the Weapon: Fela documentary from 1982

Fela: Music is the Weapon is a documentary film from 1982 featuring a wealth of live concert footage (from his club in Lagos, "The Shrine") as well as interviews with the legendary Nigerian singer, bandleader and social critic. Here's part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 5, 2008 - 22 comments

Poor whites in South Africa

Given the history of the country and the fact that a huge number of South Africa's black citizens still live in conditions of desperate hardship, a film seeking to draw attention to white poverty in that nation might understandably raise some eyebrows or some suspicions. But Poor Whites - South Africa is worth a view. Perhaps things aren't always quite as, er, black and white as this South African TV spot would indicate. Meanwhile, ANC president Jacob Zuma, visiting poor whites at a shantytown yesterday expressed surprise at the level of poverty among white people. "You have shown me that it exists", he said to Solidarity officials who had invited him. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Batá drum and dance of the Yoruba, Nigeria, West Africa

Learn about the powerful, complex Batá drumming and dance tradition of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Check these 6-to-8 year old Batá drummers laying down the groove. Then theres the Egungun action going on over in Ibadan, to the accompaniment of Batá drums, of course. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Nov 8, 2007 - 8 comments

Papa Kourand: Roots of Konono No. 1

The full-on, amped-up sanza sounds of Konono No. 1 have been celebrated here at MeFi not once but twice, and they are indeed wonderful. Björk's been working with them a bit lately, too. But let's go back a few decades, and take a listen to the unplugged version of this type of music: mesdames et messiurs, Papa Kourand, the grand old man of the sanza! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 10, 2007 - 11 comments

Oliver Mtukudzi, pride of Zimbabwe

Let's pay a visit to Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi, or Tuku, as he's affectionately known to his fans. His voice has a touch of that sweet soul gravel reminiscent of Georgia's Otis Redding, or Jamaica's Toots Hibberts, but his mellow fingerpicking guitar style and relaxed, loping grooves are African all the way. His earlier stuff is certainly worth going back to as well! And, hey, it's unlikely you'll hear too many other pop stars who sing lines like "Call the mother of my childfren. I am hurt. I was injured while training the ox." [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 16, 2007 - 11 comments

Balafon! Balafon! Balafon!

The YouTubes have the African balafon you need. Alya Dioubate. Coulibaly Samadou. Kanazoé. Epizo Bangoura. Koeta Hakiri. Bala. Man and child. Danse Moderne Balafon!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 17, 2007 - 14 comments

Mary Uduru, roadside chef

Mary Uduru of Nigeria. Although we see lots of single-image representations of African poverty (usually in the form of a swollen-bellied child on the brink of starvation) it's rare to find a photo-essay like this one one, which brings us an intimate, informative and non-sensationalist view of the life of the working poor there.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 11, 2007 - 22 comments

traditional music of Africa

Spend a blissful 59 minutes and 7 seconds traversing the continent of Africa through her traditional music. This excellent stream (featuring just the right amount of background info) from the folks at Afropop Worldwide [previously] features plenty of the kind of effortlessly rolling, lilting rhythmic vibes that make African traditional music some of the most sublime in the world. "So don't expect over-the-top ethnography, just relax and enjoy acoustic Africa."
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 19, 2007 - 11 comments

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