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

20 June 2013


This is the third release of traditional African music I have posted from Ocora, so perhaps I should say a little about them. Ocora is a French label dedicated to traditional forms of music with a worldwide coverage. They have published more than 600 records for scientific purposes as well as for the general audience on vinyl, cassette, & compact-disc.

Formerly known as "Société de radiodiffusion de la France d’outre-mer", SORAFOM was founded in 1955 by Pierre Schaeffer as a cooperation venture to train radio engineers in African national broadcasting services, but also to record & preserve African rural soundscapes. SORAFOM became "Office de coopération radiophonique" (OCORA) on April the 14th of 1962, as part of Radio France to collect & preserve traditional music heritage. Ocora was initially run by composer and musicologist Charles Duvelle.

Part of Ocora's extensive traditional music line, this album of music from Burundi attempts to present some of the salient examples of musical traditions in the old Kingdom. Some of the music is really quite amazing in the way that it can be both incredibly simple, but at the same time mesmerizing. There are demonstrations of native inanga zithers, ubuhuha vocal techniques, drum troupes, whispered singing techniques, musical bows, &  ritualized greetings.

A whispered low-register male voice opens this collection accompanied by the dull rich sounds of a plucked string instrument. Use your imagination. It is the man pictured on the front cover, singing ghost stories to little ones or recounting the treacherous glories & losses of some past war. Many vocal pieces follow, with or without back-up, varying greatly in tone, character, & style. There are two greetings whose title begins with "Akazehe" sung by first one then two young girls: so beautiful yet fragile. There are gorgeous solo flute pieces, epic chants with a large ensemble, later the haunting voice from track 1 comes back, perhaps even more sinister. Last but certainly not least is a child's voice beautifully weaving in & out of the ringing plings & plongs of a plucked zither.

 Various - Musique du Burundi, Ocora OCR 40, 1967.
decryption code in comments

Side  A -
Chant avec Cithare
Chant de Femmes
Ubuhuha pt. 1
Ubuhuha pt. 2
Complainte avec Vièle Monocorde
Chant et Arc Musical  
Chant et Sanza

Side B –
Solo de Flûte  
"Akazéhé" par Une Jeune Fille
"Akazéhé" par Deux Jeunes Filles  
Solo de Cithare
Tambours Royaux Ingoma
Suite de Cithare Inanga avec Voix Chuchotee
Sanza Ikembe avec Voix
Tambours Ingoma avec Choeur d’hommes
Groupes de Tambours royaux avec appels de Trompes
Chant d’Enfant Accompagne d’un Arc Musical Umuduri


Khadja Nin was born in Burundi on June 27. 1959. She is the youngest daughter of a family of eight. She studied music at an early age like most of her brothers & sisters. She has an exceptional singing voice, & at the age of seven she became one of the lead vocalists in the Bujumbura Choir in the capital city of Burundi.
Ya is her fourth album. Khadja successfully uses a blend of African rhythms & modern pop to create her own unique brand of music. Khadja wrote all the lyrics on this new album herself, using the opportunity to bring up the subjects closest to her heart (street children, war, & her ongoing struggle against inequality of all kinds). It also includes a personal tribute to Nelson Mandela & a song about motherhood, entitled "Mama".
The musicians on Ya are: Khadja Nin – vocals; Nicolas Fiszman – guitar, mandolin, keyboards, electric & upright bass; Luis Jardim – percussion; & David Salkin – drums & African drums. Songs are sung in French, Swahili, & Kirundi (Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by nine million people in Burundi & adjacent parts of Tanzania, Congo-Kinshasa, & Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi).

 Khadja Nin – Ya, Mondo Melodia 186 810 062 2, 2000. 
decryption code in comment

Tracklist –

Mzee Mandela
Damu Ya Salaam
Kuji Fondeya
Afrika Obota
Like an Angel
Shadow Man


Here’s another special treat for my loyal world musick travelers. This is Burundi Black. Burundi Black was a 1971 recording credited to Burundi Steiphenson Black. It was released as a single. It made it to #31 on the UK Singles Chart.

The single was arranged & produced by French pianist, arranger, & record producer Michel Bernholc (1941 – 2002). He was a classically trained pianist who had previously worked with pop musicians such as Michel Berger, France Gall, Françoise Hardy, & Claude François. For the Burundi Black single, he used the pseudonym Mike Steiphenson.

The record sampled a recording of drumming by 25 members of the Ingoma people in Burundi. The recording was made in 1967 by anthropologists Michel Vuylsteke & Charles Duvelle. It was released on the album Musique du Burundi on the French Ocora label in 1967. The album I just posted above. Steiphenson overdubbed his own piano & guitar rock arrangement onto the recording.

In 1981, a new arrangement of Burundi Black was recorded by drummer Rusty Egan (of Rich Kids with Glenn Matlock & Midge Ure, later in Visage also with Midge Ure) & French record producer Jean-Philippe Iliesco. It was released in the UK & US where it became a dancefloor hit, described by music critic Robert Palmer as "glitzy pop-schlock, a throwaway with a beat".  This is the 1981 remix. Interesting in comparison to the original Ocora, I believe.

 BurundiSteiphenson Black – Burundi Black Rusty Egan remix, Barclay BAX1, 1981. 
decryption code in comments

Side A –
 Burundi Black (first part)
Side B –
Burundi Black (second part)



  1. Musique du Burundi
    Kadja Nin - Ya
    Burundi Black

  2. Replies
    1. That can't be right. I blew that long ago.

  3. Amazing!!! Thank you.

    I'm new in your blog, I really like Burundi Black (rusty's) where do you recommend me to start looking for similar music here in your blog?

    1. Thanks for the kind words & welcome aboard. The easiest way to find some music you like is just wander about here. There is no rhyme nor reason, other than what I happen to be listening to at the moment (Musick around the World project being the exception). As for Burundi Black, there is nothing really like it…kinda a world unto itself…but that being said (& because you asked so nicely), here is a list of some other crazy stuff:

      Taboo – the Modern Record story 11/18/07
      Bonemen of Burumba 9/12/08
      I Am Dying, MEESTER 11/11/08
      Oly Al sez: “Freedom is Danger” 4/5/09
      Drunk with Funk 2/17/09
      I’ve Got Dengue Fever 8/20/09
      Do the Zanzibar Twist 3/4/12
      Crystal Blues blowin’ across the Sahara 1/22/12
      Have a Toke of this Fine Smoke 11/16/13
      Shiva’s Atomic Dancing 11/19/13
      Lumumba 1/11/14
      This Fusion is Monster 5/13/14
      Desert Dwellers 6/7/14
      The Hidden Kingdom 8/5/14
      Nothin’ is True 3/14/15
      Ancient Future 3/29/15
      Time for some Darkjazz 6/28/15

      All of these are tangentially relevant to Burundi Black though none are really similar. Read the write-ups if there are any, try to find any of the songs elsewhere on the Interweb to sample before downloading, or just wing it & take a chance. Life’s a crap shoot anyhoo.

      Hope this helps (or it might just drive you crazy, I don’t know).

  4. Thank you for this. Been looking for Musique Du Burundi on & off for a long time. I wish to remain anonymous - but would like to make $$ donation in return - if possible. Yes/no?

    1. Your kind words are all the payment I desire.