Charlie introduces another installment in his occasional series of world music hits and adds a new dimension by profiling influential albums.
The drumming of Burundi has been an important inspiration for a number of mainstream acts, including The Clash and Adam and the Ants, and is said to have been the stimulus behind the first WOMAD festival more than a quarter of a century ago. But well before then, in 1968, the record label of Radio France International called Ocora, released Burundi: Musiques Traditionnelles, a dozen tracks of very varied music from the country, recorded by engineer Michel Vuylsteke. In 1988 it had another incarnation as a CD with five extra tracks added at the end which could not be included on the original LP because they exceeded the standard playing time of a 1960s record. The direct, un-spoilt beauty of these sounds appeals to today’s musicians too, it even appears on club tracklists and continues to exert influence on other artists. Check out the blog below from San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.
Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums of Passion predate the Ocora album by nearly a decade. Released on a major label in Olatunji’s adopted country of USA it served as an introduction to African music to many and a cover version of the track Jin-go-lo-ba became a major hit for Carlos Santana just after Burundi: Musiques Traditionnelles first appeared in the shops.
Charlie also plays classic tracks by Titi Robin and Saban Bajramovic, and attempts to define the length of time that needs to elapse before an album can be considered a classic.