All posts tagged: international music

Kenya Special: Volume Two – Selected East African recordings

To many outside of East Africa, the Kenya Special Soundway compilation released in 2013 was their introduction to the full spectrum of the musical landscape of 1970s and ‘80s Kenya. The promotion of Kenyan music on an international level from the mid-eighties onwards had often been within a narrative of ‘otherness’, where releases were marketed as world music, focusing on a few genres with clearly defined sounds, such as benga and Swahili rumba. Kenya Special did more or less the opposite by highlighting songs and bands that couldn’t easily be categorized. Many of the featured songs seemed to bend the rules, break away from existing genres and sometimes borrow from foreign music trends. Whereas the world music campaigns of the 1980s were moderately successful in drawing in young audiences, the more recent wave of reissues has caught on with a demographic that’s one or two generations younger than those listeners that were originally interested in the music that was recorded in Kenya from the 1960s to the 1980s. The approach to musical rediscovery that is …