These recordings of tribal and traditional East African drum music were made in a hot, dusty mud hut which smelled like stale beer and things that happen in the night. Listen closely and you’ll hear birds. You’ll hear odd sounds from the instruments. They rattle and buzz. Drums were made from things like paint cans with skin stretched over the top. The sound box of the wooden marimba was made from rough boards hammered together. Its keys were simple, roughly carved wood. The shakers were gourds with seeds inside. The paint thinner can was a rectangular paint thinner can. Some of the music is for dancing. Some is more obscure and edgy, from way deep, from Joseph Conrad’s Africa. The guys played what they play when they’re out back by themselves.
Occasionally, you’ll hear a voice in the background. It’s not a witchdoctor, but it could have been. It’s only Paulo getting into his work. This CD is dedicated to his memory. He came close to making it all the way through the Mud Hut Sessions. About a year after we finished recording, Visent went to the other side to join him, too.
Instruments – Everyone switched around and played everything. In general, Paulo played the big drums. Visent played the small rhythm drums, the drums that set the beat. And Gerreta played the marimba, the shakers, and the paint thinner can. After Paulo went to the other side, Daniel filled his shoes.
These are the songs of Tanzanian regions and tribes as arranged by Paulo, Visent, and Gerreta.
Tukalanga Marimba Moja is an after work song.
Sangula is played in Morogoro during the harvest.
Chikocha is a dance song played during the maize and cashew harvests.
Sindimba Special is played during the celebration held after young people go through training about how to take care of their future families.
Tukalanga Three. We’re pretty sure this is just the guys messing around. But they wouldn’t tell us.
Mbondei. Nobody knows where this song came from.
Mchanganiko Marimba is a mixture of styles from different regions.
Wabondei. Wabondei is the plural of Mbondei, another song on the album. Like Mbondei, nobody knows where this song came from.
Musoma is a drum song which was used to broadcast village news before the establishment of Radio Tanzania.
Shindimba could have originated in Mozambique. But tribes wander. The Makonde Tribe of southern Tanzania along the Mozambique border plays this dance song to reward those who make good wooden carvings.
Ukala is a Zigua Tribe hunting song.
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