ZUHURA & PARTY: SINGE TEMA - TAARAB SPECIAL (LP)
The return of the Zanzibara series: a Deep Taarab masterpiece from legendary singer Zuhura Swaleh, recorded in Nairobi in 1981.
Taster for the forthcoming Zanzibara double vinyl compilation: Taarab experiments in 70s Mombasa - due Spring 2019
Zuhura Swaleh & Party initially rose to fame on the Mombasa scene in the 1970s with a new fast-paced taarab style led by the electrically amplified tashkota (actually a Japanese instrument correctly spelled as taishokoto), that resembles a mix of electric guitar, slide guitar and sitar.
Zuhura’s chakacha-styled taarab sound and stinging lyrics became popular up and down the coast, leading to invitations for performances all over Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda throughout the 1970s.
Her no-nonsense way of speaking out openly and voicing women’s concerns helped pave the way for the new “modern taarab” sound that came to fore in the 1990s.
While playing a wedding in Nairobi in 1981 Zuhura & Party were approached by the local Polygram studio to record some songs, but the record did not catch on as the lp format was not suited to the tiny portable record players in use in Kenya back then, and the record industry as a whole collapsed in the wake of the 1982 coup d’état attempt and the resulting economic slump. Only a few records were pressed and have since become collectors’ items. Locally the songs survived and remained popular as pirated dubs (first on cassette now on CDR).
Buda Musique is proud to present one of the few Taarab LPs ever recorded for the first time on vinyl outside of Kenya.