Showing posts with label somali traditional music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label somali traditional music. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - Soow Sow [2003] [somalia]

Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc was  born in Owdweyneh in 1942, and grew up in Berbera and Hargeisa He started his singing in Hargeisa, in the then British Somaliland Protectorate in 1954. The repertoires of his songs are long, voluminous, omnipotent and eternal, so rich and so amazingly legendary.

The late Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc, whose career spanned more than 50 years, was known for his raspy voice, rose to fame in late 1950. For the past two decades Kuluc has been living in Britain.

Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc -Heestii Daaimow

                    Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc was one of the preeminent founding members of “Walaala Hargeisa Band” The legendary Somaliland band has been formed in Hargeisa in 1954. In the recent past, another Somaliland giant vocalist, the king of songs of all times, Mohamed Suleiman has also died in a strange country, a place where nobody knows his personality, and gentleness, humility, humbleness, and legendary status. 

                   Mohamed Ahmed was one of the first generation of Bulwo or Heelo songs in Somaliland and the entire Somali speaking world for that matter. Mohamed Among the other founding members of “Walaala Hargeisa” were the likes of preeminent legends such as Abdullahi Qarshe, Mohamed Said (Guroon Jire.), Osman In-Beenale, and Shamis Abokar (Gudoodo Carwo).

                 The giant singer and playwright was buried on the 18th of January, 2015 in “Nasahablood cemetery in his beautiful Hargeisa.” Thousands of people including high Somaliland government officials led by Somaliland’s vice-president were in attendance. 

           Other great of his amazingly brilliant and irreplaceable generation who already died were Abdullahi Qarshe, Mohamed Yusuf, Mohamed Omar Huryo, Osman Mohamed Abdulkarim, Mohamed Suleiman, Omar Dhuule, Halimo Khalif Magool, Abdullahi Abdi Shube, Hussein Aw Farah, Mooge brothers Mohamed and Ahmed Mooge Liban, Farhiya Ali, and many others. 

Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 01 - Intro (0:48)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 02 - Badda (6:21)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 03 - Badan (5:39)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 04 - Boqorkii (7:08)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 05 - Carwo (6:10)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 06 - Cosob (4:20)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 07 - Dadnimada (5:09)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 08 - Dhoolbari (8:14)
Mohamed Ahmed Kuluc - 09 - Soow Sow (6:48)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

v.a. - Munsphone Mixtape - 60s and 70s Sudanese Records (Cassette. Munsphone Records)

This one is a collection of records from the 60s and 70s on the Munsphone label out of Sudan "mixed by an Ethiopian octogenarian." 


1. Hamed Al Rayah - Shalo Alkalam
2. Sayed Khalifa - Jani O Ma Ligani
3. Suna'i Alasima (Mohammed Awad & Ahmed Omer) - Min Hobby Feek Ya Jar
4. Suna'i Alasima (Mohammed Awad & Ahmed Omer) - Jaboo Al Shabka Yom Al Eid
5. Ibrahim Awad - Att'haddak
6. Sharhabil Ahmed - Lissa Ma Arfeen
7. Sharhabil Ahmed - Ya Gammer Dowwa
8. Mohammed Werdi - Ghattr Al Nedda


1. Sayed Khalifa - Al Wahid Khallaney Wahid
2. Al Belabil - Khatim Al Moon (3 sisters: Hadya, Hayat, & Amal Thulsem)
3. Sharhabil Ahmed - Ferfish
4. Sharhabil Ahmed - Al Laabis al Bumbi
5. Mohammed Werdi - Ma Takh'jely
6. Al Belabil - Lon al Manga
7. Sayed Khalifa - Nana ya Nana
8. Ibrahim Awad - Zahra Nadya
9. Mohammed Werdi - Uzabney Za Zeed Azabuk !   song not complete!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Haussein Shiekh & Radio Mogadisco Swahili Singers - Baijun Ballad s- Somali Songs in Swahili [1970] [somalia]

Haussein Shiekh & Radio Mogadisco Swahili Singers 

01 - Pumbao, Fun, Or Enjoyment (7:30)
02 - Furaha, Happiness (6:16)
03 - Kikombe Cha Zari, The Decorated Cup (4:31)
05 - Gungo, Wedding Invitation (2:19)
06 - Bembea Mtoto (5:39)
07 - Safaridi, Martin Bird (3:20)
08 - Sini Mwana, I Have No Son (4:30)
09 - Kasikazi Vuma, Oh, Wind Of The Southwest Mountain (3:34)
10 - Randa, Farmers' Chant (4:27)

Friday, November 28, 2014

v.a. - Famous Songs - Hits of the New Era [1973] [somalia]

Xulka Xasan Adan Samatar - Collection Somali Songs

       The Qaraami (also known as somali jazz) genre arose in the 1940s as the main style of modern Somali popular music, carrying features of the regional music such as the use of a a pentatonic scale and having the oud as the primary instrument, but also fusing outside influences: at first Traditional Arabic Pop, and then throughout the 1960s and 1970s Jazz, Soul and Funk

     The Waaberi ensemble, established by the Ministry of Information and National Guidance, was present since the genre's inception and served as training ground for many of the biggest stars of Somali song such as Magool and Maryam Mursal

      Qaraami acquired a political character throughout the government of Siad Barre, with many artists either praising the regime producing "revolutionary music" sponsored by the government or singing protest songs. Qaraami songs are still highly popular in Somalia.

01 - Waaberi & Ubaxa Cacaanka - Aabbe Siyaad (5:30)
02 - Waaberi & Students - Itaageer Allahayow (6:31)
03 - Waaberi - Magac U Yaal (4:25)
04 - Waaberi - Tolweynaha Hantiwadaagga Ah (3:19)
05 - Waaberi & Xasan Aadan Samatar - Beletweyne Pt. 1 (8:23)
06 - Waaberi & Xasan Aadan Samatar - Beletweyne Pt. 2 (6:56)
07 - Waaberi - Tolweynaha Hantiwadaagga Ah (Reprise) (1:28)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dur Dur - Rafaad iyo Raaxo [1986] [somalia]

originaly posted at Likembe blog >

   Dur Dur's songs are almost always drenched in love. To the best of my knowledge, they didn't address social or political issues during the military dictatorship and that's why their lyrics didn't make a lasting impression on me or flare up my interest in the band; hence my sketchy knowledge about their work and background. I was really delighted with the post-Siad Barre cassette Andreas posted at Kezira, in which they've several socially engaged tracks.

         These songs are mainly in southern vernacular languages. I hail from about 1100 kms further up North and, though I understand the basics fairly well, I don't have the required baggage to fathom the linguistic and literary subtleties inherent to these dialects. Neither can I contextualize the songs since I don't know if, as was common during the military dictatorship, some of the songs were meant as protest double entendres, were adopted as such by the general public, if events were associated with them etc. That's why I'd rather not venture into summarizing, let alone publicly interpreting, the lyrics. 

       Nevertheless, all the songs are conspicuously about love and I've tried to translate the tracktitles. Corrections are, of course, most welcome!


The following six songs are from the soundtrack of "Rafaad iyo Raaxo" ("Misfortune and Comfort"), a 1986 tragicomedy that was also filmed a couple of years later. 

   01 - Dur Dur - Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee   

"Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee" means "Rejected Due to My Circumstances." The vocals are by Muktar "Idi" Ramadan.

   02 - Dur Dur - Saafiyeey Makaa Samraayee!   

In this song vocalist Shimaali Axmed Shimaali pleads, "Oh, Saafi! I Won't let You Go" (Saafi is a female name).

   03 - Dur Dur - Waanada Waxtarkayga Waaye   

"Waanada Waxtarkayga Waaye" means "This Advice Does me Good/I'm Well Advised". Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow & Maryan Naasir.

   04 - Dur Dur - Muraadkay Waa Helee   

"Muraadkay Waa Hellee" means "We've Reached Our Goal." Vocals by Muktar "Idi" Ramadan & Sahra Dawo.

   05 - Dur Dur - Ma Hurdee   

"Ma Hurdee" ("I Can't Sleep"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Muktar "Idi" Ramadan.

   06 - Dur Dur - Rafaad iyo Raaxo   

"Rafaad iyo Raaxo" ("Misfortune & Comfort"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Muktar "Idi"Ramadan.

These next songs are from two tapes without album or song titles. The track names are thus the popular titles under which the songs were dubbed by the public (see the post on Iftin). 

   07 - Dur Dur - Waxan Sugi Ma Helayaa?   

"Waxan Sugi Ma Helayaa?" ("Shall I Get What I'm Waiting For?") is also known as "Saqda Dhexe Riyadiyo Sariir Maran" ("Midnight Dream in an Empty Bed"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

   08 - Dur Dur - Shaacaan Ka Qaadaa   

"Shaacaan Ka Qaadaa" ("I'm Revealing all of it") is also known as "Shallay Ma Roonee" ("Remorse Is Pointless"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo & Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   09 - Dur Dur - Rag Kaleeto Maa Kuu Riyaaqayee?   

"Rag Kaleeto Maa Kuu Riyaaqayee?" ("Are Other Men Admiring You?"), aka "Reerkaagaa Joogee" ("Stay With Your Family"). Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   10 - Dur Dur - Boodhari Sidiisii   

Cilmi Ismaaciil Liibaan (better known as Boodhari) is the main protagonist in a true love story that took place in in the 1930s in Berbera, a town in the current Somaliland. He was in his thirties when he fell head over heels in love with Hodon, a teenage girl whose parents were opposed to a relationship between the two due to the difference in age and social class; he worked in a bakery and she belonged to one of the richest families in the area. Hugely burdened and dismayed by the unrequited love, Boodhari composed numerous poems and songs about this forbidden love. Hodon eventually got married to another man and, though this is not corroborated by watertight evidence, Boodhari became so disconsolate that he finally committed suicide. It's not established beyond doubt that all the poems and songs attributed to Boodhari were indeed written by him, but his legend and compositions have certainly been part and parcel of Somali love stories ever since. The song "Boodhari Sidiisii" ("In Boodhari's Footsteps") is also known as "Maruun ii Bishaarey!" ("Surprise Me Once With Good News!"). The vocals are by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   11 - Dur Dur - Doobnimaadey Maka Dogoownee    

"Doobnimaadey Maka Dogoownee" ("Getting Old Single") is also known as "Dersi Anaa Lahaa" ("I Need A Lesson [In Love]"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

   12 - Dur Dur - Ilwaad Quruxeey!   

"Oh, Angelic Beauty!" Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow.

   13 - Dur Dur - Jaajuumoow Jees   

The title of this song means "A Joking Madman." Vocals by Cabdullaahi Shariif Baastow & Sahra Dawo.

   14 - Dur Dur - Waxla Aaminaan Jirin   

"Waxla Aaminaan Jirin" ("Nobody To Confide In/NothingTo Trust"), aka "Is Yeelyeel" ("Simulation, Pretense"). Vocals by Sahra Dawo.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Waaberi - [1997] - New Dawn [somalia]

01. Waaberi - Rog Rogosho (5:34)
02. Waaberi - Cidlaan Dareemaya (4:00)
03. Waaberi - Heei Yaa Alahobalin Hoobalowa (4:31)
04. Waaberi - Hafun (5:05)
05. Waaberi - Shubahada (4:50)
06. Waaberi - Ada Bere Chaelka (4:25)
07. Waaberi - Indo Ashak (3:59)
08. Waaberi - Nin Hun Heloha Modina (4:52)
09. Waaberi - Ulimada (6:20)
10. Waaberi - Kafiyo Kaladeri (7:10)


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sahra Halgan - Somaliland [2012] [somalia]

         Great-granddaughter and granddaughter of traditional singers, Sahra has been singing the repertoire inherited from her ancestors since her childhood. Despite her parents' disapproval and the discredit attached to women musicians in her native Somaliland, she has grown up and has started her career accompanying bands and playing in musicals.

       When the war burst out in 1988 in Somaliland territory situated in north-eastern Somalia and formerly a British protectorate "Little Sahra" (Sahra Yart) commits herself and sings by the Walalo Hargeysa's sides, soldiers fighting for the independence of their country. On the front lines, Sahra acts as nurse for the Red Cross. In the middle of the jungle, she sings to allay the sufferings of the wounded soldiers. 

          "Little Sahra" then becomes "Sahra the combatant" (Sahra Halgan), a nickname given to her by a separatist radio of the country. In a tight social and political context, she runs off the country in 1992. 

                Political refugee settled in Lyon, she is still actively supporting the cause of her country, self-proclaimed independent in 1991, but so far unrecognized by the international community. 

            Since then, she is considered as an absolute musical icon of the country and as the voice of the Somalilandese community dispersed to the four corners of the world. Her unique and atypical vocal identity has largely contributed to this recognition. 

        Characteristic of the territories of eastern Africa, where the influences of the Middle-East and of Africa are intermingling, her voice surprises by its suppleness, its timbre and its originality; combining throat-voice, tribal inflexions, ululations and oriental ornamentations. Since her arrival in France, Sahra Halgan has staged her atypical route and her musical family inheritance with the complicity of African musicians settled in Lyon. 

       After the release of her first album in 2009, she has covered the stages of Europe and of the world, and she has endeavoured to make the very unrecognized somalilandese culture discovered by the European audience. "I haven't left Somaliland to go sightseeing, I didn't had the choice" says Sahra, in one of her song.  

         True ambassadress of her country's music, Sahra sings the nostalgia, the memory and the rips of the exile. With lightness and in shows full of emotions, she becomes a vibrant echo of Somaliland and sings love, peace and war. On stage, this great east-African voice with an incredible stage presence has a gift to take the audience to a unique journey where good mood and shared smiles are blending...

Sahra Halgan   (lead vocal)
Aymeric Krol    (percussions, chorus)
Mael Saletes    (guitar, chorus)

01. Sahra Halgan - Nabad (2:04)
02. Sahra Halgan - Gaadh (3:30)
03. Sahra Halgan - Hadagan (4:32)
04. Sahra Halgan - Botor (3:08)
05. Sahra Halgan - Deeq (5:06)
06. Sahra Halgan - Somaliland (3:10)
07. Sahra Halgan - Ahaa, Ahaa, Ahaa (6:07)
08. Sahra Halgan - Teeri (4:29)
09. Sahra Halgan - Matis (3:10)
10. Sahra Halgan - Mataan (3:42)
11. Sahra Halgan - Qaraami (3:46)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maryam Mursal - The Journey [1998] [somalia]

Few have a more dramatic tale to tell than Maryam Mursal, Somalia’s powerful and dynamic female vocalist.

Before her stunning voice could be heard in the west, Maryam was forced to spend seven months walking across the Horn of Africa with her five children as she fled the civil war in her native Somalia - desperate to escape from the anarchy, death and starvation that was destroying her country. She and her young family hitched rides on trucks, rode on donkeys and walked - out of Mogadishu, the Somalian capital, across Kenya, through Ethiopia, recrossing part of Somalia again and eventually arriving in Djibouti where she was finally given asylum by the Danish embassy.

In Denmark she met up with the Danish arranger Søren Kjær Jensen. Jensen had come across Maryam's music when working in Somalia as a freelance photographer in 1986 and had recorded her extraordinary voice from a radio broadcast. Visiting a Somalian immigrant camp in Denmark he heard her singing to 300 fellow refugees and realised it was the same voice. Jensen brought Maryam to the attention of Peter Gabriel's Real World and, consequently, the label asked her to make two albums - one of traditional material and a second in more contemporary vein.

‘The Journey, Maryam’s solo album, is a highly charged modern take on her Somalian roots, produced by Simon Emmerson and Martin Russell (both of Afro Celts Sound System fame) with Jensen. It features guitars, sequencers and back-up vocals from Peter Gabriel, yet never strays far from its African origins. "She's amazing, she's got everything," Emmerson says. As an instant African classic thrillingly uniting ancient and modern he puts the album on a par with Baaba Maal's incendiary ‘Firin In Fouta’, which he also produced.

Maryam is perfectly at ease working with a more contemporary approach. She began singing professionally as a teenager in Mogadishu in 1966, the first woman in a deeply male-dominated Islamic society. Brought up in the Muslim faith, she was steeped in the traditional music of her country - a remarkable hybrid sound of African and Arabic influences created by centuries of cross-cultural fertilisation between migrating nomadic tribes. But from her earliest years she also eagerly absorbed every influence she could find.

“I began singing in night clubs thirty years ago in Somalia,” Maryam says. “Traditional music is very important to me but I was always listening to people like Ray Charles, the Beatles, everything.” Another western artist she admires is Etta James and it is easy to see a link between the two women - both have a big, uncompromising vocal style.

Although little to do with jazz as we know it in the west, the rich, cultural stew which she developed of African and western sounds, dance music and traditional song, became known as ‘Somali jazz’ and Maryam became a household name.

In July 1997 Real World released ‘New Dawn’ (RW66), Maryam’s recording with the core survivors of the band Waaberi - once a 300-strong troupe of singers, dancers, musicians and actors from the Somalian National Theatre before the destruction of civil war. An acoustic album, the songs tell of loneliness, love and betrayal - sung solo or accompanied by simple percussion and the oud (an Arabic lute-like instrument). It includes a freshly recorded version of Maryam’s song ‘Ulimada’ (The Professors) - a thinly disguised attack on the dictatorial regime in Somalia, which had led to her being banned from performing anywhere in the country for two years.

Maryam Mursal's life and art have intertwined to produce a sound that is profoundly moving and totally unique. She may be a refugee living in exile but her extraordinary talent is certain to guarantee her a heartfelt welcome wherever she sings.

One day Maryam hopes to return home to Somalia. "The first good thing I hear about my country, the first suggestion it is changing, I will go back - and quickly. It might take five years or even ten years but one day things will change. Everybody needs their country. At home you can be a star but then as a refugee you are looked at like a dog. I am a refugee but I am also a singer. That is my job and that is how I survive."


...dynamic vocal performance from Maryam Mursal.
The sound of contemporary Somalia with a dynamic vocal performance from Maryam Mursal. Whopping chunky brass and thunderous bass and percussion bring in a highly charged set of songs perfectly captured by the Real World engineers.                                            Piccadilly Records  (UK) 

Relying on her unbroken spirit and sandy resolve...
...Mursal tells her story with terrific grace and ebullience even as she mourns her country's difficulties. She’s been through too much to do a polite, sad documentary.                                
Rolling Stone (1998)  (USA)

The very first listen to Mursal will tell you this: she is an authentic, incredible talent...
...a singer of great range and passion and an adept juggler of cultural sounds and styles ... The journey actually sounds like an international achievement ... to create a wonderful music that is both distinctive and unusual, and yet totally inviting.             Option Magazine (1998)  (USA)   

 Somali singer Maryam Mursal is blessed with haunting vocals...
...that pierce your soul, and a keen storytelling ability... Mursal is poised for international stardom.                           Black Elegance (1998)  (USA)  

To put it simply: 'The Journey ' is an album that definitively puts Maryam Mursal up amongst the stars...
...a fantastic, beautiful result of international format.
A captivating and exciting mix of afro-arabic and western music.    
                                                                           Djembe(1998) (Denmark)                                                                                                                        

Her debut album is a sophisticated voyage undertaken with strings and percussion.
Mursal . . . has a fearless, smooth voice and a pop sensibility that brings ‘The Journey’ back home.                                     
                                                                            Marie Claire (1998) (USA)

can't recall when an Afro-pop record bowled me over...
...the way Maryam Mursal's has ... as good as world music gets.
                                                                                   Request (1998)  (USA)

Funkier than a room full of snowboarders.
You experiment with this rhythmic colossus at your peril - inhale it and you could win the giant slalom, break the world speed record and fly a balloon around the world. Undoubtedly the funkiest LP ever to come courtesy of the Danish Music Council.                                         Time Out (1998) (UK)

A voice that pleads for home ...
Far and away the funkiest album ever connected to Denmark . . . sympathetic but indomitable, a woman who knows what she wants . . . her voice is as rich and assertive as those of Margareth Menezes of Brazil and Angelique Kidjo of Benin. ‘The Journey’ rides Somalian melodies into a cross-cultural wonderland. Mursal and her arranger, Soren Kjaer Jensen, realized that her voice could stand up to just about anything. Mursal sounds too tough to let herself be reduced to an exotic sonic ingredient. When she tours this summer as part of Africa Fete, her forthright voice will not be denied.                                          New York Times (1998) (USA)

Deep, dirty funk from Somalia, anyone?
...the kind of classic funk that would have suited Sweet Sweetback's Baadass Song.                                                               Mojo (1998)  (UK)

If you're looking for an artist who stands for something big...
... - who moves you, impresses you, and broadens you while thrilling you - here she is, cutting through it all.                      
Interview (1998) (USA)

"... compelling listening ... 
her voice packs a powerful and emotional punch.
                                                                                 Music Week (1998)  (UK)

Truly breathtaking...
If this album does not propel her ... to consideration as one of the world's great female voices, up there with your Aretha's, there ain't no justice:
                                                                                 Folk Roots (1998)  (UK)

Mursal's honey-smoked alto weaves a hypnotic web...
...of back-home ululations and R&B diva moanings. The Journey and Mursal swing beautifully. Twenty-first century global soul begins here. March 1998 .                                                                     
                                                                                                Vibe      (USA)

This ... is a joyful collage of influences.
This music feels like hobbling on stillettos when you're used to flats: it'll force you to use muscles you didn't know you had.     
                                                                       Jane Magazine (1998) (USA)