Vinyl and digital releases from Raw Music International
George Mukabi - Furaha Wenye Gita (Happiness with Guitar) RMI-003
Furaha Wenye Gita is a collection of songs by the great Kenyan guitarist George Mukabi, recorded between 1958 up until the year of his death in 1963. The album includes an extensive oral history by Mukabi's family and peers, and lyrics in Swahili and English. We are attempting to preserve a full discography of Mukabi, and the digital version features 25 of his original songs, as well as a tribute by Peter Akwabi, and a cover by his son, Johnstone Ouko Mukabi.
An almost mythical figure of African acoustic guitar, George Mukabi's reinvention of fingerstyle quickly spread from western Kenya throughout East Africa before his tragic death in 1963. Hailing from the Luhya speaking Kisa Region, Mukabi combined local elements of the nyatiti lyre and sukuti drum into the bouncing "omutibo" guitar style, in which melody, rhythm and bass lines all merged in two hands on one instrument. An imposing man who was both respected and feared, he sang of the tumults of marriage, morality and Kenyan life, selling hundreds of thousands of records in East and Central Africa, though only dimly recognized overseas. 54 years after his passing, we are proud to help preserve the legacy and legend of George Mukabi.
LP and digital versions contain a 12 page booklet featuring an oral history by George's son, Johnstone Ouko Mukabi, along with several other peers and family members, as well as full lyrics in Swahili and English. Digital version includes 15 additional rare songs.
We are attempting to present a full discography of George Mukabi in streaming digital format. Several songs are still missing - if you can assist our project, please contact us at: email@example.com
Usiende Ukalale (Don't Sleep) - Omutibo from Rural Kenya RMI-004
Usiende Ukalale is a compilation of modern recordings of Omutibo guitarists, recorded by Cyrus Moussavi of Raw Music International in Kenya in 2016. Documenting the origins and evolution of the style, from George Mukabi to the new generation, and recorded on location in homes and yards along the River Yala, this is an album of revival and preservation. Featuring recordings of, and interviews with, Fanuel Amimo, Shem Tube, Jimmy Bongo, Johnstone Ouko Mukabi, Zachariah Omufumbwa, Sukuma Bin Ongaro, Omari Machio and Johanias Kiunya, as well as full lyrics in Luhya and English, and photographs by Cyrus Moussavi. Co-release with Olvido Records and Mississippi Records.
Olima Anditi - Where Else Would I Be? RMI-002
Recorded in Kisumu, Kenya on New Year's Eve 2010, this is an intimate home recording session with the great roaming Luo guitarist Olima Anditi. The blind musician has been traveling the trucking routes around Lake Victoria for decades,playing haunting, gorgeous tunes passed down through generations of artists. He's a local legend, and his tales of love, morality and politics are widely known. This intimate session is being released for the first time on vinyl. Includes 12 page booklet featuring an essay on the controversial origin story of Olima Anditi and lyrics in English and Luo. Co-released (and vinyl distribution) by Mississippi Records.
Shem Tupe - Country Music of Western Kenya RMI-001
Rare recordings of rural Kenyan guitar music from the archive of legendary guitarist, singer and songwriter Shem Tupe. In the late 1960s, Shem Tupe, Justo Osala and Enos Okola formed Abana Ba Nasery (Nursery Boys), a trio characterized by cascading dual-guitar melodies and vocal harmonies in a pure Luhya style. These songs have been digitized and restored directly from Shem's personal collection of 45's, and have never before been issued outside of Kenya. This release includes a PDF with liner notes and photos by Cyrus Moussavi, who traveled to Bunyore, Kenya in 2016 to meet, interview and record Shem Tupe. 100% of proceeds from this release will go to Shem Tupe and Enos Okola, the surviving members of Abana Ba Nasery.
Co-released with Olvido Records.
Listen and purchase at Bandcamp.
Limited run of 200 cassettes sold out.
Raw Music International Kenya Mixtape -- Tracks spanning from hip hop and reggae to traditional nyatiti from the first Raw Music trip to Kenya, including Olima Anditi, Peter Logono, Eli Sketch, and LaFam.