West African record labels

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West African record labels

Postby Ringo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:05 pm

What are the major labels/artists to look for in West Africa on 45?
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Postby bedward » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:19 pm

Ringo-
Think it depends on which country had its own record presses...so:
you are in.

For Guinee Syliphone
For Nigeria EMI
For Senegal DISQUES GRIOT
For Cote D'Ivoire BADMOS
For Ghana Skanophone and Parlophone as well as Decca, EMI and Phillips

A lot of material was first issued in Europe, eg Senegalese material was issued in France (eg SOUMBOUYA MUSIQUE) whilst Zairian material was issued in Belgium

Check the sleeve notes to Ghana Sounds
dial africa ben, dial africa
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Postby Ringo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:27 pm

Cheers Bedward, going to Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana, so that info should be very helpful.
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Postby bedward » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:47 pm

Reading suggestion:

In Griot Time - Bannign Eyre
The Music in my Head- Mark Hudson
dial africa ben, dial africa
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Postby Ringo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:49 pm

Nice one, I've been doing plenty of reading on travel, health and history, but not enough on culture and of course music.
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Postby Ringo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:58 pm

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Postby Riddimstick » Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:10 pm

Enjoy your African adventure, Ringo!

Another reading suggestion:

John Collins - West African Pop Roots

A must read, especially if you're interested in Ghanaian music.

Martin
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Postby Ringo » Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:35 pm

Thanks Martin, I'll add it to the list.
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Postby Reggaemusicstore » Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:18 pm

Ringo, I've been to Ghana before and most of the music I saw on sale was cheap pirate cassettes sold by roadside vendors. Things may have changed since I was there (about 6 years ago) but I got the impression that a lot of Ghanaian artists went to Holland & Germany to record....
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Postby Nicholas » Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:06 pm

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Postby Ade » Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:04 am

Reggaemusicstore wrote:Ringo, I've been to Ghana before and most of the music I saw on sale was cheap pirate cassettes sold by roadside vendors. Things may have changed since I was there (about 6 years ago) but I got the impression that a lot of Ghanaian artists went to Holland & Germany to record....


Yes - vinyl doen't tend to survive in West Africa. Will most likely have been put out with the rubbish many moons ago. It's mainly pirate tapes and now CD's that do the business. Mass produced sound reproduction equipment for these media are affordable to most - record players and styli (lil-lil-lil-leee) ain't. Relatively easier to find this music in Europe than it is in Africa especially '60's/'70's/80's stuff, since it was manufactured their and shipped out. Rare and absolutely (absolutely) one-off stuff sometimes appear on eBay. But serious collectors of this music just cannot be outbid - they just stick nuff dollars on, go away on vacation and then settle up on return.

No doubt you will now return with a trailer load of obscure vinyl pressings which you swopped for a couple of packets of cigarettes :)
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Postby Reggaemusicstore » Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:45 am

Ade, there was an African news series on Channel 4 a few years ago, can't remember what it was called but I recall one episode which featured a new copyright police squad in Ghana & showed them going out on the streets of Accra trying to stamp out the pirate music goods & introducing official legal stickers to show what was legit. It was a great idea but from what you say doesn't sound like it was very successful !
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Postby bedward » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:10 am

Ringo-
I tend to agree with some of the comments above. I think you will be lucky to source vinyl in the countries you are travelling to unless you have the time to develop contacts and find those who still have collections or access to old stocks that may not have been destroyed. In all likelihood securing such records will be from African collectors from who you will need to pay a decent price. If you speak to peiople like Graeme Counsel (compiled the recent Bembeya Jazz anthology on Sterns) you will find out that he spent years developing his vinyl collection.

Otherwise I hope you're lucky. If its a quick visit I would set your expectations very low: older music on mostly badly copied cassettes and newer music on CD-R or knock-offs of Western issues.

Cynical perhaps...but then you might delight in a few discoveries of your own...good luck
dial africa ben, dial africa
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Postby Ringo » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:26 am

Cheers everyone, looks like a good challenge.
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Postby ephteeay » Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:27 am

when are you going and for how long bingo?
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