We we first heard this unique compilation of Somalian music and heard the story behind it, we were transfixed. We have the honour of premiering our favoruite track from compilation today today. Aamina Camaari’s Rag Waa Nacab Iyo Nasteexo, meaning ‘men are cruel and kind’ (amen to that sister), is taken from a 15 track compilation of Somalian songs from before the civil war unfolded in 1988.
In inspiring acts of bravery and incredible value of culture, just before their first airstrikes were launched by Somalia’s authoritarian ruler Siad Barre onto the north of the country, a few brave radio operators and dedicated vanguards of Somali culture knew they had to preserve musical archives, containing over half a century of Somali music. Thousands upon thousands of cassette tapes and master reels were quickly removed from the soon-to-be targeted buildings. They were dispersed to neighbouring countries like Djibouti and Ethiopia, and literally buried deep under the ground to withstand the airstrikes. “We buried them in the ground so the bomb’s won’t hit”.
These audio artifacts have only recently been excavated and recalled from their foreign shelters. The Ostinato Records team, who bring us this compilation digitalized a large portion of the archive, distilling 15 songs that reveal the panoramic diversity of styles and sophistication of Somali musicianship into a compilation, giving us just a small glimpse of Mogadishu in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Somalian coastal capital glistened as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,”
To receive this music is such an honour and privilege, this is not just a download from soundcloud, this music comes to us thanks to the bravery, defiance and years of work from many dedicated people. It also sounds divine.
Sweet As Broken Dates is now available for pre-order on bandcamp.