Audio: DJ Balele's Africa Vinyl Mix

DJ Balele is a Spanish vinyl aficionado who's spent time dwelling in Equatorial Guinea and traveling the likes of Senegal, Mali, Gambia, Mozambique and Morocco. He sent us this sunny mix of "100% vinyl, 100% old school Africa" jams.  Stream and download it below for free.


1- SUPER NEGRO BANTUS "Professional super Bantus" (Nigeria)

2-LES YA TOUPAS DU ZAIRE "Je ne bois pas beaucoup" (D.R.Congo)

3-MAMUKUENO "Rei do paletinho" (Angola)

4-GNONNAS PEDRO "Abigbedoto" (Benin)

5-LE GRAND KALLE, DON GONZALO, MANU DIBANGO "Africa Boogaloo" (D.R.Congo, Cuba, Cameroun)

6-K.FRIMPTONG and his CUBANOS FIESTAS "Kyenkyen bi adi m'awu" (Ghana)

7-CEDRIC IM BROOKS and the LIGHT OF SABA "Africa" (Jamaica)

8-TONY ALLEN "Moyege" (Nigeria)

9-THE DAKTARIS "Quiet man i dead man" (USA)


11-POGO Ltd. "Don't put me down" (Nigeria)

12-MIXED GRILL "A brand new wayo" (Nigeria)

13-BRIGHT ENGELBERTS "Civilisation in the world" (Cameroun)

14-MANU DIBANGO "Soul Makossa" (Cameroun)

15-EL REGO et ses COMMANDOS "Do do baya" (Benin)

16-GNONNAS PEDRO "Yiri yiri boum" (Benin)


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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