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

23 June 2013


David Fanshawe (born 19 April 1942 - died 5 July 2010) traveled to Kenya & Tanzania to record indigenous music. Witchcraft & Ritual Music is the culmination of his work. This record consists of sixteen songs & since only one track,”Marimba” A5, was recorded in Tanzania, I have concluded that this is really Witchcraft of Kenya. I am posting it here.

The recordings are amazingly crisp & clear given the fact that these recordings were made in local settings, not in a recording studio. The tracks are music from various healing ceremonies, initiation rites, weddings, funerals, & folk music. Many of these traditions have gone by the wayside as western culture has crept into Africa.

In his liner notes Fanshawe says, "...I have tried to capture the spirit of a musical heritage now nearly extinct. The music on this album comes from a part of East Africa whose musical traditions remain largely unknown to the rest of the world. Particularly fascinating is the manner in which music & medicine are combined in the indigenous practice of witchcraft; music takes on the power of medicine, & medicine becomes associated with the healing sound of drums, interwoven with beautiful threads of melody."

These songs were performed with local, indigenous instruments with the occasional western one. One instrument is a chepkombis which is a bowl or pot with a skin stretched over it. A stick is placed on top of it vertically. The musician rubs his/her hands up & down the stick to produce some very eerie sounds.

Other instruments are kayamba (rattles), ankle-bells, flutes, cow bells, uta (a 1-stringed harp), kibugantit (a 6-stringed harp), nyatiti (an 8-stringed harp), lukuji (a mouth harp), bung'o horn, & many drums.

 Various – Africa: Witchcraft & Ritual Music, Nonesuch H-72066 Explorer Series, 1975. 
decryption code in comments

Side 1 -
Ngoma Ra Mrongo
Mwari Initation
Coconut Pickers Song
Matondoni Wedding
Tuken Moral Songs
Giriama Spirit Dance

Side 2 -
Kayamba Dance: Giriama Wedding
Alto Bung'o Horn
Akamba Witch Doctor
Pokot Witch Doctor
Pokot Dance
Song Of Dawn
Funeral Dance


The late Charles ‘Oriango’ Arap Chepkwony was a Kenyan musician of the Kipsigis ethnic group.

The Kipsigis are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting Kenya. They speak Kipsigis as a mother tongue, which belongs to the Nilo-Saharan language family. Traditionally, they practiced herding but are presently known for cultivating "green gold" tea. They inhabit the highlands of Kericho from Timboroa to the Mara River in the south & in the west from Mau Escarpment to Kebeneti. The Kipsigis are the most populous sub-group of the Kalenjin, itself a subdivision of Nilotes who originated in the South Sudan region. In the 1700s, the Kipsigis migrated to Kericho. By the end of the 18th century, the Kipsigis were living in the Rift Valley province of Kenya.

Chepkwony played electric guitar in the Koilong’et Band with the legendary Kalenjin singer & guitarist Kipchamba arap Tapotuk.  He also had his own group, the Kolu Band. They both recorded in Kericho, Kenya in the 1970s with the famous Chandarana Recording Company out of the Chandarana Music stores in Kericho & Nairobi. His songs were great hits in the 70s & 80s. The late Chepkwony’s compositions are still popular among the wider Kalenjin people of Kenya.

The singer & guitarist Kipchamba arap Tapotuk was born Kipkemoi Taguto in 1937, in Bomet, northwest of Nairobi in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. His parents moved to Mau Narok & settled there for a while. He died in early April 2007.

Kipchamba played the traditional guitar. His career spanned more than half a century, usually playing with his own group, Koilong'et Band with Oriango arap Chepkwony, Francis Lang'at, Moris Mainek, & Sekeri Tallam. Their first recording was in Kisumu. They then moved to Kericho, then to Nairobi to record with Chandarana Music Stores, then back to Kericho.

His songs struck a chord across generations & made immense contributions to the literature 7 the preservation of the culture of the Kalenjin. The songs were heavily laden with the Kalenjin idiom. That makes them all the more interesting.

On this cassette, Chepkwony performs with his own group Kolu Band on side A & with Kipchamba’s band Koilong’et Band on side B.

 Charles A. Chepkwony –Magtalena, Chandarana Recording Co. CCMV102. 
decryption code in comments

Face 1 –
Kilyano Retanga
Yach Busrek
Bakach Chebaigeiyat Sikilai
Kas’ Imam O Pilista

Face 2 –
Bane Matanda
Sukulit Ab Musoknotet
Wuiyee My Lover



  1. Witchcraft

  2. I used to have that Witchcraft LP, but I can't remember if I liked it or not. In fact, I had almost all of the Nonesuch LPs. The only one that I played often was #72076 "Shakuhachi - The Japanese Flute"

  3. I have 27 Nonesuch & Sublime Frequencies albums that I can make available to you. Most are Asian but there are some Middle Eastern. I downloaded them at least two years ago and I've never looked at or listened to them. I realized that I wanted something more polished than field recordings and that Subliminal albums rarely have complete songs.

    Is there an email account that I can send the links to?

    1. Andrew,

      Leave some contact information here in a comment.
      An e-mail address or whatever. I have set moderation so
      I will see all comments before they appear on the post.
      I will make sure your comment is deleted after I read it.
      I'll email you my address & we can continue this conversation
      in private.

      Thanks for your remarks & offered help.

  4. no
    well i am the opposite of andrew i love the field recordings i have most of the nonsuch. but any of the sublime freq you could post would be great.