happy birthday Surinam! The former Dutch colony celebrates 40 years of independency today.
During the festivities swinging music will be heard on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. It seemed appropriate to me to select 10 personal favourite tracks from my own collection to celebrate this festive day here in Amsterdam and Surinam. May these gems be heard around the world, as far as Paramaribo…Kawina, Kaseko, disco, surinam soul, latin, mambo …all from different decades and representing the most typical styles of Surinamese music.
At the same time I would like to pay attention to a special book which recently appeared; “Sranan Gowtu’ by Diederik Samwel. Published by Nijgh & Van Ditmar in association with record label Top Notch which already released two compilations with the stars of the Surinamese music in 2013.
The first step in the revaluation of Surinamese music started in 2013 with the collector ‘Sranan Gowtu’ with songs from six different decades. The compilation is packed with Creole music, calypso, Kaseko music, winti songs, salsa, soca, dancehall to the timeless pop hit ‘Wasmasjien! ” by Trafassi. Besides digitally and on CD this compilation is also available in gorgeous red and green vinyl.
However, this is only the beginning. The purpose of Sranan Gowtu is not only to provide an overview of the range of beautiful Surinamese music, but also to go in depth with compilations of individual performers. So meanwhile the best work of Dear Hugo, Trafassi, Max Nijman, Papa Touwtjie and Kid Dynamite has been republished.
And here are my 10 favourite songs from Surinam….
Big Jones and his Kawina Band -Ala Pikin Nengre
from the soundtrack ‘Faja Lobbi ‘; a film by Herman vander Horst (1960)
a kind of ballad about the town of Paramaribo. In the introductory solo singing, all the children (ala pikin nengre) are called to go to the town (foto) to admire everything that may be seen there; the houses (hoso), the big ship (biggie boto), the factories, the machines, the cars, the shops (wenkri) etc. Finally we arrive at the market (wojo) where we find an endless variety of articles, and an equally wide variety of people.
Big Jones -Par’Bo Mambo
rare mambo track that celebrates life in the capital Paramaribo
Coco Valoy -Juliana
great latin instrumental by a member of Los Virtuosos
Orchestra Tropical -Tata Vodoe
The KasekoMasters -Boroe
Max Nijman and The New Faces -Sugar
Edwin Bouterse and his Rhythm Cosmos -Disco Party
Spooky’s Express -Express
instrumental version called ‘Express’, while the vocal side is called ‘Music’. Clearly a remake/rehash of ‘Soul Finger’, the big instrumental hit of 1967 by The Bar-Kays.
Billy Jones & The Stars – All My Brothers Are Clean