Various Artists – Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa (Ostinato Records, 2017)
Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa is a remarkable project compiled by Vik Sohonie & Nicolas Sheikholeslami. They combed through tapes rescued from Radio Hargeisa before it was destroyed during the Somali Civil War in the 1980s.
The cassettes were hidden away abroad to protect them from bombings. Part of this collection, has returned to its original location and are now part of the 10,000 cassette tape archive of the Red Sea in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa. The Ostinato Records producers digitized a large part of the archive and selected 15 songs that represent the diversity of Somali music.
You’ll find a joyful mix of genres where pop, soul, funk, jazz, blues, reggae and disco are mixed with traditional Somali, Ethiopian, Arabic, and other influences.
The artists featured include Nimco Jamaac, Aamina Camaari, Ali Nuur, Hibo Nuura, Gacaltooyo Band feat. Faduumina Hilowle, Iftiin Band feat. Mahmud Abdalla “Jerry” Hussen & Maryan Naasir, Xasan Diiriye, Dur Dur Band feat. Sahra Dawo, Sharaf Band feat. Xaawo Hiiraan, 4 Mars, Danan Hargeysa feat. Mohamed “Huro” Abdihashi, Sharero Band feat. Faadumo Qaasim, Waaberi Band (composed by Said Mohamed Harawo), Dur Dur Band feat. Muqtar Idi Ramadan, and Iftiin Band feat. Mahmud Abdalla “Jerry” Hussen.
The album cover (and the video below) shows a modern woman with an afro and earrings. It was a time were women were free to dress as they pleased, before the conservative clerics took over most of Somalia, forcing women into burkas, nikabs and hijabs.
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