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

21 June 2013


Similar to the Ocora releases I have posted, Bärenreiter – Verlag in Germany started their Musicaphon division in 1960 to collect & preserve traditional World music, much of it Asian & African. This release features the three main ethnic groups of Rwanda: the Tutsi; the Hutu; & the Twa. These are field recordings where made in 1954 & 1954. The Twa are the oldest group to inhabit Rwanda. The are pygmies & many are still tribal hunters. They make up only about 1% of the native population. The next group to arrive in the region was the Hutu (or Abahutu) who were part of the great Bantu expansion. They make up about 84% of the native population of Rwanda. They are primarily pastoralists. The Tutsi (or Watusi) arrived about four or five centuries ago in the second wave of Bantu migration. They make up the other 15% of the native population. They have been since their arrival viewed as the aristocracy of the three groups.

The Tutsi monarchy ruled Rwanda (then called Ruanda-Urundi) until 1961, when Kigeli V was exiled from the colony. The political power then was transferred from the minority Tutsi to the majority Hutu. This led to the ‘Social Revolution’ & Hutu violence against Tutsis. Tens of thousands of Tutsis were killed & many others fled to neighboring countries.

The Tutsi & Hutu music has many similarities, as they are both off-shoots of the Bantus. The Twa music is quite unique. This release comes with a 10 page booklet with text in English, French & German & many photos. I have included this in the file. Side A is all Tutsi music. Side B, the first six are Hutu & the last three are Twa.

 An Anthology of African Music - Music from Rwanda, Bärenreiter Musicaphon BM 30 L 2302, 1965.
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Side A –
Rurambo hand clapping song

Side B –
Mugore W’Imgare
Induru Ni Ndende
Ntawundi Mwana Nkibyara Ndakuze
Nshoz’ Uruyange


Orchestre Impala de Kigali was one of the groups that popularized dance music in Rwanda. This did not even begin to happen until the late 70s. Rwanda has had a tragic history. The Germans & Belgians colonized the area & then established a Tutsi monarchy. The monarchy was overthrown in 1961 & by 1962, Rwanda has gained its independence. In 1973 Juvénal Habyarimana took control of Rwanda in a bloodless coup. He was well liked by most of the different ethnic groups & a calm spread over the land.

Rwanda was a very poor country. They exported few valuable resources, mainly small quantities of coffee & tea. The capital Kigali was not much more than a large village. Electricity was yet to make its way to the rural villages. The music was mostly slow, acoustic, traditional.

The music of Rwanda is primarily what was featured in the above anthology. Rwanda was not a musical powerhouse. There was no record industry so bands just self-produced their own cassette tapes primarily. The best known orchestra in those times was Orchestre Impala de Kigali. By the 80s, popular dance music with electrified instrumentation began to appear. Still there was not really much of a music scene. There was no TV, only one state run radio program which played Rwandan traditional music & French pop with a few tracks by Rwandan bands in the mix. Cassettes were marketed by a handful of shops in Kigali, Butare, & Gisenyi. Many of the Rwandan tapes appeared in a series under the logo ‘African Hits’. Orchestre Impala de Kigali was one of the few groups that received much airplay. They played a unique & eclectic style, which fused elements of traditional Rwandan music with bits of Democratic Republic of Congo’s rumba & other popular genres of African music of the day.

In 1989, world coffee prices plummeted. This significantly affected already impoverished Rwanda's economy as coffee was one of its major cash crops. The Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF formed in Uganda. The following year the RPF invaded Rwanda, starting a civil war. The unrest grew throughout the country. By 1993, Radio Télévison des Milles Collines or RTMC was broadcasting & spreading ethnic hatred. To ease tensions, Habyarimana’s government signed the Arusha Accords which opened government positions to both Hutu & Tutsi.

On April 6, 1994 President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot out of the sky. The following day, Hutu extremists began killing their political opponents. As the brutal killings continued, the world stood idly by & just watched the slaughter. Lasting 100 days, the Rwanda Genocide left approximately 800,000 Tutsis & their Hutu sympathizers dead.

Of Orchestre Impala’s original eight members: Andre ‘Pepe la Rose’ Sebanane; Felix Jean ‘Soso Mado’ Gasasira; Paul ‘Mimi la Rose’ Sebigeri; Abdallatif ‘Toubi Lando’ Gasigwa; Francois ‘Maitre Rubangi’ Rubangura; Jean Pierre ‘Kali wa Njenje’ Kalimunda; Fidele ‘Fidele la jacard’ Ngenzi: & Jean Berechimas ‘Semu wa semu’ Semu, only Paul & Fidele are still alive. Other than Semu, who died in the 80s of natural causes, all the rest were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

There is a common saying in Rwanda: “Nakibuza Impala gucuranga” that literally means ‘nothing can stop the Impala from playing music’. This indicates how much people treasure & believe in the band even today. To honor their fallen members & the bands name, the two surviving musicians have recruited young men to take the place of the deceased & have restarted the band again. These new members were recruited & Impalage (a group of female traditional dancers) were added. The all new group is made up of nine members plus the Impalage. They perform as Orchestre Impala de Kigali just like before.

Here is one of the many cassettes from the original “Nakibuza Impala gucuranga” Orchestre Impala de Kigali. It is their third release with all eight original members in great form.

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Side A –
Amavubi No. 1
Unaenda Wapi

Side B –
Soko kw’iteke
Ngwino Mutimukeye


Sabrina Iyadede is a modern Rwandan musician. She & her family lived in Rwanda until the 1994 Genocide began. Then she & her mother moved to Brussels for safety.

Out of that monumental pain & darkness emerged an exquisite beauty & light. As a survivor of Rwanda's 1994 Genocide, Iyadede has overcome pain, trauma & incredible loss. She has emerged with an inspirational strength & spirit. She has recorded & performed with Zap Mama in Belgium. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion & love for her home country & continent is evident in her words. She represents her home with soul, beauty, grace, funk, & fire.

Iyadede’s voice is at once delicate & powerful, but her style defies easy categorization. Her free spirit & originality offer an alternative sound to that usually expected of pop music. On this demo she presents an eclectic mix of electronic pop & funkadelic hotness, her sound oscillates between punk-rock, electronica, & jungle, with elements of Afro-beat & Afro-funk.

She is the very picture of resilience & hope. She is a multi-talented artist whose star is rising. I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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Not the Same
When I was a Kid
Burnstone & Fire
Things that We Have
Pretend You’re a Square
The Love Mantra
African Thunder
Let’s Stay Together
Make it a Song (feat Nineteenz)
Little Brown Girl

Enjoy, but always remember the pain of hatred,


1 comment:

  1. Music from Rwanda
    Orchestre Impala de Kigali