The Tanzania Heritage Project is an NGO dedicated to preserving and celebrating the musical heritage of Tanzania, with a particular focus on the archive of Radio Tanzania – the former state-controlled station that ruled the airwaves for 30 years after independence. The archive holds an estimated 19,000 reel-to-reel tapes, at least half of which are made up of unique recordings of bands and musicians made in Radio Tanzania’s studio, and solely for broadcast on the now defunct station.
Much of this music is musiki wa dansi – literally “dance music” – a big-band style drawing influence from Congolese soukous and rhumba, while remaining definitively Tanzanian. Also known as zilipendwa (the loved ones), and Swahili jazz, dansi was incredibly popular un the 70s and 80s as an urban music style loved throughout the region.
Africa In Your Earbuds #42 is made up primarily of 7″ dansi vinyl found in a dusty store in Dar, released on Kenyan labels such as Saba Saba, Moto Moto, African, and one imprint (Kwetu) from Tanzania. A couple of Congolese tracks also feature, but on the whole, its focus is the sound of Dar in the 70s, and a good representation of what the Radio Tanzania archive holds. Dansi tracks often follow a similar structure – a slower, highly melodic vocal-based song at the start, then a faster, more danceable section for the second half — which is often split over 2 sides on these 7″ pressings. Where this is the case, I’ve generally opted for the second part of each track, as that’s my thing.
Stream and download AIYE #42: Radio Tanzania, mixed by Tanzania Heritage Project‘s David Tinning below. Big thanks to Underdog for the beautiful artwork.
1. JUMA KILAZA & ORCHESTRA TK- LUMPOPO NATIONAL 73 – Subi Subi No. II (Saba Saba Records, 1973) – Country : Tanzania
2. JAMHURI JAZZ BAND – Taifa Cup, (Philips, 1974) – Country : Tanzania
3. ORCHESTRE L’INTERNATIONAL AFRISA – Aon (African Records, 1973) Zaire
4. MBARAKA MWINSHEHE & ORCH. SUPER VOLCANO – Shida (FKW, 19??), Country : Tanzania
5. VIJANA JAZZ BAND – Koko Koko no 1 – (Moto Moto, 1975) Country : Tanzania
6. URAFIKI JAZZ BAND – Nakutafuta Sikuoni (Kwetu, 1976) Country : Tanzania
7. AFRO 70 BAND – Kwa Vile Nakupenda – Country : Tanzania
8. SIMARRO MASSIYA – Maya Ozali Coupable Ya Misere Na Ngai – (ASL 1985) Country : Zaire
9. VIJANA JAZZ BAND – Miaka Mingi (Moto Moto 1975) Country : Tanzania
10. MSONDO NGOMA – Viva a Frelimo (pt 2 ) (Kwetu 1976), Country : Tanzania
11. JAMHURI JAZZ BAND – Mganga, (Philips, 1973) – Country : Tanzania
12. VIJANA JAZZ BAND – Urijani Mwema (Moto Moto 1975) Tanzania
Like African music? Previously on Africa In Your Earbuds: JON THEODORE, DESMOND & THE TUTUS, MATHIEU SCHREYER II, YOUNG FATHERS, BBRAVE OF AKWAABA, OLD MONEY, DJ NEPTUNE, SAHEL SOUNDS, BEATENBERG, M1 [DEAD PREZ], BODDHI SATVA, L’AFRIQUE SOM SYSTEME, NOMADIC WAX, THE BROTHER MOVES ON, LV, BEN ASSITER [JAMES BLAKE'S DRUMMER], JAKOBSNAKE, CHRISTIAN TIGER SCHOOL, SAUL WILLIAMS, TUNE-YARDS, MATHIEU SCHREYER, BLK JKS, ALEC LOMAMI, DJ MOMA, AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA, PETITE NOIR, OLUGBENGA, RICH MEDINA, VOICES OF BLACK, LAMIN FOFANA, CHICO MANN, DJ UNDERDOG, DJ OBAH, SABINE, BROTHA ONACI, DJ AQBT, JUST A BAND, STIMULUS, QOOL DJ MARV, SINKANE, CHIEF BOIMA