“Every Dreadlock Must Endure the Fullness of the Earth”

On New Year’s Eve 2010, Ozzy, Vic and I recorded the great guitar legend Olima Anditi at his home in the Manyatta slum, Kisumu, Kenya (video from session above). Exactly one year later, Ozzy found him and delivered the first (and only) $100 we’ve made from sales of the Raw Music International Mixtape (available here). A big thank you to all who bought the mixtape. $100 is a massive sum for a guy making around $2 a day, and getting him that dough, contributed by dozens of fans throughout the world, is a highlight of the project so far.

Olima, in his ancient turtle way, seemed in fine form, although his guitar had several new holes in it. Ozzy interviewed him again and cleared up some lingering questions. We were able to confirm that the Dickson Olima credited on this old record (image courtesy of KenTanzaVinyl) is indeed our man Olima Anditi (Dickson is his Christian name). Olima hasn’t held a physical record he cut in decades, so I’m looking for one.

Upendo vinyl single credited to Dickson Olima and Ogaja Jazz

Ozzy recorded their encounter on video and I’ll have some tasty clips of first-person Kenyan music history as soon as that lazy fuck sends me the translation. (Ozzwaldo! The world is waiting!) When I post the video I’ll also tell you about a controversy that arose surrounding the real identity of Olima Anditi after an astute reader wrote in with some questions. We call it OlimaGate, and it has involved a journalist in Washington DC, record diggers in London, musicologists in Nairobi, and occupied my (admittedly pretty lackluster) being for the past month.

Also, some great coverage from the Free Music Archive, a website dedicated to free and Creative Commons licensed music of quality. Great to be involved with such a forward thinking crew. Check their site for jams of all genres and see their story on Raw Music here: Free Music Archive.

Raw Music tracks have also been featured on WFMU radio and, as I posted earlier, there was this interview at the Onion’s A.V. Club.

Finally, big up to our sister and videographer Angela Shoemaker. Her photo documentary on a nursing home for heroin addicts in Amsterdam (where we met–in the city, not the nursing home) were featured in the LA Times (check them here).

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