Matthew Lavoie found me through this very website because I was nerding out and blogging about my favorite band Orchestre Kiam. We had some correspondence on the band (which was wonderful, as I often feel I have no peers regarding this matter), and I’m proud to have contributed some info and recordings to his comprehensive history of the great 70s Kinshasa band Orchestre Kiam. Check out this Afropop Worldwide post on Lavoie’s work and the band. Be sure to click all the links, and if you like classic Afropop and soukous music, check out the free ZIP downloads.
Here’s one of precious few photos of the group known to exist:
I think I mentioned before on this blog, a while ago I was sent a 45RPM record that I hadn’t ordered in a package with one that I had. The bonus LP had no sleeve and was filthy, but when I cleaned it up and put it on I was taken quickly with it. Gorgeous guitar-driven rumba with a touch of north African mystery in the notes. All played by a very tight band.
Conde Demba Chanteur Horoya Band
I researched it a bit looking for more by the same group. Not knowing the intricacies of French, I assumed that the full name of the project was Conde Demba Chanteur Horoya Band, or perhaps the operative searchable words were Conde Demba. I didn’t find much, they had another LP under the same name that I tracked down and it’s just as good.
Months later I stumbled across Horoya Band, and realized I had no idea what I was searching for. Conde Demba was a guest vocalist for two records, it seems. I’ve since found a lot of amazing music from them, from several iterations and with a diverse quality of sounds and styles.
The Horoya Band was from Guinea (I had thought Ivory Coast for some reason), and they were a national treasure, to the extent that the state eventually nationalized them (whatever that means) and they became Horoya Band National.
I even tracked down a CD of theirs called Paya-Paya, on the Dakar Sound label. I love finding reissues of this stuff whenever possible, both because I like the opportunity to actually give the artists part of my purchase money and because it means that people are still listening to music that I like. Sometimes I feel like a lonely archeologist in Seattle with no peers who I can share this stuff with. Or at least no one who will care like I do.
August 6th at Barboza, with Brandon Krebs and Stella Crest. It should be a great night playing with good friends and other supportive friends in the crowd.
In other news, work continues on the full-length, with Bob Cheek at ExEx. It’s a fun way to make a record, passing the files back and forth in WAV format between ProTools and Logic. Lalo Bello came in and laid down some congas for a rumba-ish song that may end up as the final track. Now I get to edit them and give them back to Bob. Fun!
And we’re re-amping guitars. It’s great hearing them come alive and picking out pedals. A selection of what we’ve been using:
More on that soon! We hope to finish the re-amping this afternoon in fact.