Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

25 May 2013

Equatorial Guinea

A small country about the size of the state of Massachusetts on the west coast of central Africa, Equatorial Guinea comprises the mainland territory of Río Muni (where most of the population live) & five volcanic islands. The largest island is Bioko, on which the country's capital, Malabo, is located. After independence from Spain in 1968, Equatorial Guinea fell under the rule of Francisco Macías Nguema, who plunged the nation into ruin. He was overthrown & executed in 1979 by his nephew Obiang Nguema. President Nguema continues the family dictatorship. There is widespread civil unrest over flawed elections. New oil wealth masks stagnation in the rest of the economy & the widespread endemic poverty.

The largest ethnic group are the Fang, though there are also numerous Bubi & smaller populations of Bisio, Bujeba, Ndowe, Combe, & Annobónese people. The Fang are known for their mvet, a cross between a zither & a harp. The mvet can have up to fifteen strings. The semi-spherical part of this instrument is made of bamboo & the strings are attached to the center by fibers. Music for the mvet is written in a form of musical notation that can only be learned by initiates of the Bebom-Mvet Society. The mvet plays a role in traditional Fang society very similar to that of the kora among the Mandinka peoples of West Africa, as an accompaniment to epic ballads, the performance of which many times lasts all night. Music is typically call & response with a chorus & drums alternating. Musicians like Eyi Muan Ndong helped to popularize folk styles.

Here is Ekien Ndong Ela, one of the epics of the late Mvet master Eyi Muan Ndong. 
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There is little popular music coming out of Equatorial Guinea. Commercial recording remains scarce. The bands that I would like to post up are mostly available elsewhere.

Hijas del Sol (Daughters of the Sun) are aunt Piruchi Apo Botupá & niece Paloma Loribó from the island of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea. They sing in Spanish & their native tongue, Bubi. It is a blend of traditional, Afrobeat, & Afropop. They have eight or more albums to date. Kchaba is a great place to begin. This release is dedicated to the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti. 

Here is “Sibolló” from that album.
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Concha Buika was born 1972 in Palma de Mallorca. Her family is originally from Equatorial Guinea. Her father was a political exile from Equatorial Guinea, from one of the most repressive regimes in Africa. The fusion of flamenco with jazz, soul, & dance rhythms in Buika's music mirrors the story of her own life. She grew up in Mallorca, where the population includes American millionaires as well as many German & English tourists. She was the only person of African descent in her neighborhood & her school.

"I was always the only black in the movie theater, the only black in class, the only black in the library, the only black in the discotheque," she says. "I always felt observed and judged."

She was raised among poor Spanish Romani people (Gitanos or gypsies) in the barrio where her family lived. They introduced her to the traditional 'cante' flamenco music that became part of her style. Her family sang African tunes at home & her mother had an entire wall filled with jazz records. Her album Niña de Fuego was nominated for the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year. 

Here’s No Habra Nadie en el Mundo from that album.
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Anastasio Bickie was born into a musical family in Bata, on the mainland Rio Muni district of Equatorial Guinea in West Africa. Bickie immersed himself in music from an early age. His father played guitar & often his home would be filled with people singing, dancing, & playing drums. There was a popular musician, Ecuaga Miko who along with his wife, would travel from village to village singing & dancing to traditional Fang rhythms & melodies. The town’s people would supply the drummers & be the backup choir for Miko & his wife to perform. Bickie was influenced greatly in his early years through these musical experiences. This environment contributed to his decision to make a career in music.

While growing up there was not a lot of local recorded music available. The radio stations mostly broadcast popular music of neighboring countries like Cameroon, Gabon, & Nigeria, soukous of Zaire, music from Spain, South America, & Cuba, or European & North American pop music. These musical styles along with the traditional 'elon' rhythms & other indigenous musical styles of Equatorial Guinea combined to create the unique sound of Bickie’s music.

Here Annax Bickie & Zalang are: Anastasio Bickie – vocals & guitar, Simon Akirov – lead guitar; Howard Goldbach – keyboards; Steve Perzow – bass; Daniel Shlagbaum – percussion; & Maurizio Valente – drums.

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With the political & economic conditions after independence from Spain in 1968, many musicians, like Hijas del Sol or Concha Buika’s family moved to Spain or like Anastacio Bickie, to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The commercial popular music scene, as I said earlier, didn’t amount to much.

Here is a look at the music of Equatorial Guinea today. This is a compilation of young artists from Equatorial Guinea. Some live there & some are as far flung as Spain (Lion Sitte) or Texas (Narkelly Pana) or China (D.3.F.). This is hip-hop, reggae, & other urban styles from Equatoguinean artists scattered around the world.

Most of the songs featured on Pequeño corazón de África (Small Heart of Africa) have lyrics about Guinea & Guinean identity, which is very important to the new younger musicians. 

We come from Guinea to a country that isn’t ours,” says Lion Sitté, “Liberation, immigration, or things that have happened in Guinea – those themes come out naturally.

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Tracklist –

CNC ft Emily y Lui G - Un largo viaje
Negro Bey – Gaou
Narkelly Pana - G.E. Ghetto
West Barna – Guineanismo
Kultama ft Primizia y Maika Sitté - Destrucción del mundo
Black Bee - Ecua Nation
Barby - Super Nzalang
Reactable Global Sound - Dorado Life About
Jordana Mba - Olé Olé África
Dnoe - Amor infinito
Maelé - Dónde vas Guinea
Baron Ya Búk-lu – Panafricano
Duddi Wallace ft. Phone - Una vida
Diff Days – Terapia
D.3.F. - No voy a llorar
Lion Sitté – Despiértame
Tanci - Sin ti
Piruchi Apo - As de corazones
Betty Akna - Mira tu vida




  1. Eyi Muan Ndong
    Hijas del Sol
    Concha Buika
    Anastasio & Zablang
    Pequeño corazón de África

  2. Dorado Life About on Pequeño Corazón De África...

    I think Led Zeppelin covered this one.

    1. I guess I should have waited until I was doing Asia
      before I posted that one. Kashmir, indeed.
      I'd be guessing that Reactable Global Sound mighta been sampling
      & I'd be fairly certain Andrew mighta been being facetious.

  3. https://soundcloud.com/baron-ya-buk-lu

    1. Thank you so kindly for this link & the one below. I'm listening to Babot Ayem right now on my headphones as I type. It is an honor that you took the time to comment here. Akiba Baron.

  4. https://www.youtube.com/user/ngomolineprod