Ostinato Records.

Groupe RTD: The Dancing Devils of Djibouti

Ostinato Records presents what they call "the first ever international album to emerge from Djibouti" from Groupe RTD, one of East Africa's best kept secrets.

Vik Sohonie, founder of Ostinato Records, tells us the background of his label's upcoming album, Groupe RTD: The Dancing Devils of Djibouti.

More than one news report refers to Djibouti as "a place where nothing ever happened" that "would not register significantly in the global consciousness except for its strategic location in East Africa." These deeply ill-informed observations could not be further from the truth.

While the music of Somalia is widely celebrated, its neighbor, the Republic of Djibouti, formerly known as French Somaliland, is home to an equally deep reservoir of its own unique Somali music.The small but culturally grand country on the mouth of Red Sea remains one of the few places in the world where music is still entirely the domain of the state. Since independence in 1977, one-party rule brought most music under its wing, with almost every band a national enterprise.

No foreign entities have been permitted to work with Djibouti's rich roster of music—until now.

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