17 Sep 2010
Sterns Release - Classic 1970s Benga Beats From Kenya
Release date: 12th July 2010
D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz
The King Of History – Classic 1970s Benga Beats From Kenya
D.O. Misiani was Shirati Jazz… Shirati Jazz were D.O. Misiani: it was his band, he - in the nicest of ways - called the shots and without him it simply would not have existed. Moreover without Daniel Owino a.k.a “Mwalimu” (teacher) at the helm, benga, the energetic and hypnotically involving music of the Luo-speaking people of Kenya, would not be where it is today. Misiani and Shirati were the first stars, their success set a standard that others could only follow.
Misiani wrote songs on all sorts of subjects, not least Love and Politics. Both got him into trouble; the first required that he leave his village, the second that he go to prison. But he remained undaunted and unsilenced, and although he didn't live to see the election of Barack Obama, we can imagine the fun he would have had with the fact that a Luo man's son can become President of the United States, while the Presidency in Kenya has so far eluded any Luo, the 3rd largest language group of that country.their fans – Wenge Musica, Zaiko Langa Langa and more – but whose line-up seems to change as frequently as their clothes, always a vital ingredient of the scene.
In the first flush of ‘world music', the record labels did not ignore D.O. & Shirati and beginning with Discafrique in 1988, Globestyle, Earthworks and World Circuit (albeit without D.O. himself) all released recordings of this key group. Rare though those albums may now be, Sterns are proud to add to the list and present, with comprehensive notes by Doug Paterson, intimate photos and tracks mastered to their full-length for the first time, a selection of hits and scarcities from 1973 – 1979: crucial years when Shirati’s series of hits defined the classic benga sound.
Buy here at:
Sterns Music [CD]
Boomkat [MP3/ FLAC]
Amazon UK [MP3]
Amazon US [CD]
iTunes UK [AAC]