Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko

see also Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars

Kaseko

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Take a blaring fanfare from New Orleans parading during a funeral. Blend it with a snappy calypso. Then add swinging Latin rhythms from South America. Add a hint of African rhumba and combine all this with the question and answer patterns from West African music …. and what is cooking in today’s post? Kaseko! A real melting pot of styles that represents the roots of Africa and Holland in South America perfectly, and without any doubt the most danceable music from the former Dutch colony across the Atlantic Ocean.

Kaseko is a corruption of the French “casser les corps”, which means as much as ‘break their arms/body’. And even after all those years it is still the most popular Surinamese dance music, derived from traditional Surinamese Creole kawina music, as played by Creole street musicians in Paramaribo since the early 1900s. That is clearly the link to New Orleans street fanfares….but Kaseko is not defined that easily at all. Read on….

from Kawina to Kaseko

Kaseko is based on two important elements of traditional kawina music: the patterns of question and answer singing and the use of percussion instruments. The most important percussion instrument is the skratjie, consisting of a large drum / pauk with a cymbal on it. This indicates the basic rhythm. The name literally means trestle and indicates that this drum is usually placed on a wooden rack. In the 1920s and 1940s, under the influence of the New Orleans Jazz, Surinamese folk melodies simultaneously improvised on brass wind instruments. The typical roll pattern on the snare was contrasted by loose, varying beats on the bass drum. This ‘bigi poku’ was also played at folk dance parties by members of the Military Chapel out of service. After the Second World War this form of music was strongly influenced by Latin American music and calypso, which resulted in a new Surinamese type of music that was called kaseko and quickly became popular. The influence of rock and pop music complemented the percussion instruments with western pop music instruments, such as an electric guitar, a bass guitar and a drum set. The use of the electric organ also increased.

Sranantongo

No fewer than twenty languages are spoken in Suriname. Most Surinamese are multilingual. Sranantongo is the lingua franca, besides the Sarnami Hindustani (Surinamese Hindustani), the Javanese different Maroon languages (especially Saramaccan and Aukan) Chinese (Hakka, Standard Mandarin and Standard Cantonese)

Here are 10 favorites from my personal collection

The first two recordings are pure Kawina, drums and chant. The following tracks are typical styles of Kaseko, most are sung in Sranantongo, and the track ‘Jimmy’s lazerus’ being sung in Dutch!

listen to the podcast Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 2 – Kaseko MIX

total time 52:32

1) Sopiang Kawina -Kolibrie
2) Sopiang Kawina -Opete Kwasi
3) Orchestra Tropical -Tata Vodoe
4) The King Stars -A Sina Maro
5) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Gado
6) The Mighty Botai -Boesi Jepi
7) The Action Stars -Fyamang
8) J. Jones & The Action Stars -Jong Boy Boyo
9) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -El Yo Yo
10) Kaseko Masters -Aisa Vodoe
11) Ricky -Poeirie
12) Sonora Paramarera con Lord Bamboo -Jimmy’s Lazerus
13) Kaseko Masters -Veanti
14) The King Stars -Boto e Lolo

Soul Safari’s Caribbean Suriname Summer 2019 episode 1 – Billy Jones & The Twinkle Stars

summer 2019 is here! A perfect moment to highlight the rich music culture of Suriname in weekly episodes. After all, the South American country is a melting pot of many peoples including Creoles, the descendants of enslaved Africans.

First, some history….


Suriname has a little more than half a million inhabitants. In addition to the original Native Paleo Indian population, the country’s largest population groups are Hindustani, of Indian descent, often Hindu but also Muslim, Creoles, Marrons, descendants of liberated and escaped slaves and Javanese from Indonesia. There are also many Chinese, Lebanese, Jews and Boeroes, descendants of Dutch settlers.

The first successful European colonization took place from 1650 by the Englishman Francis Willoughby. Freedom of religion was arranged to attract planters. The English started planting plantations in Suriname, using slaves as workers. Initially, the colonizers tried to use the indigenous population as slaves. This failed due to high mortality and resistance. Then planters decided to import slaves from Africa and partly from other colonies. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War, in 1667, the Dutch conquered Suriname from the English. The Dutch handed over the then newly discovered colony called New Netherlands to the English in 1674, who call it New York. In exchange for this, the Netherlands received Suriname from the English. Slavery in the Dutch colony Suriname was only abolished on July 1, 1863. The country became independent in 1975, known as the Republic of Suriname.

Suri-Funk

The Twinkle Stars

Funk and soul music are hugely popular styles in Surinam, widely known as Suri-Funk. The most famous and beloved band is undoubtedly The Twinkle Stars, also working under the name The Stars. This soul-pop group was formed in the 2nd half of the Sixties, made up of eight musicians plus soloist singer Oscar Harris. The group became very famous and appreciated in the Netherlands. Members were Alfred Ommen, band leader, Edmond Oosthuizen, rhythm guitarist & singer, Ricardo Wouden, drums and singer Oscar Harris as frontman. In the 70’s vocalists Billy Jones, Humphrey Campbell, Ruud Seedorf became members. Their music is a mix of Funk, Rhythm & Blues and Kaseko. The latter is a fusion of African, European and American styles, strongly influenced by Dixieland, Calypso, Rock & Roll and other styles, whose instruments include the use of drums, saxophone , trumpet and, sometimes, a trombone. The Twinkle Stars disbanded officially in 1973 but regrouped few times for live-shows and recording sessions until 1980.

Although The Twinkle Stars had many hits I would like to focus on a rather curious, even bizarre single that came out in 1971, Mr. Astronout. This song is loosely based on Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, with plenty of spacey weirdness and Oscar Harris singing ‘if Mr. Astronout had seen my baby on the moon?’. Surely a cash-in on the Apollo 11 space travels from a few years earlier….

Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars ‎– Mr. Astronout / Wake Up With You
Blue Elephant ‎– BE 24.008-G.

One of the best recordings by The Twinkle Stars is with Billy Jones, an American singer. His real name is William Oran Willie Bill Jones and he was born in Denison, Texas USA on November 20,1945. Billy Jones started his career singing gospel in church. He also toured the USA as a member of the Army Air Defense Command Choral Group.

In late 1968 he settled in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He soon became a vocalist with Oscar Harris And The Twinkle Stars, where he stayed off and on until 1980.

Billy Jones & The Stars- Love Is Gonna Rain On You (Imperial LP, Album, RE (1977)

Featuring some superb funk cuts like “Funky monkey”, “Thank you” (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (Sly & Family Stone track), “All my brothers are clean” and “Message from a black man” !!!

Another rarity is this single ‘We Want Peace’ a Suri-funk gem that was released in Barbados on the obscure Merry DIsc label in 1973. Backed by ‘Jerusalem’, a typical example of that other most popular Surinamese dance style; Kaseko. More on that in the next episode of Soul Safari’s Caribbean Surinam Summer 2019….

source; Soul Safari archives/Wikipedia/Discogs

Brokers show on The Word Belgian Radio -guest dj Soul Safari

LISTEN….I was invited as guest dj for the 2nd hour of the program BROKERS on Belgian radio station The Word. These nice guys gave me carte blanche for a selection of personal favorite tunes….thanks Oswald Moris for the great introduction and your seamless selection of timeless disco/boogie/electro tunes. LOVE!!

All records in the 2nd hour of the BROKERS show from my own collection, vinyl only!! Listen to this mix filled with ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too. And to top it off the 2nd hour closes with a previously unreleased remix of one of my own productions; ‘Changes’ with Sylvia Kristel (RIP), a mellow sexy funky mix by Zuco 102. Yes, that is the Brazilian band Zuco103 minus 1. This remix is yet to be released. All vinyl, all good! Make sure to check my blog on Africa, ‘Soul Safari’: https://soulsafari.wordpress.com/

tracklist 2nd Hour The Word Brokers -EDDY DE CLERCQ

The Drive – Iphi Intombi Yam pts 1 + 2
The Jazz Clan – Oh Happy Day
Salah Ragab – Egypt Strut
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Inner Languages
Kindred Spirit & Corina Flamma Sherman – Put Your Spirit Up
Luisito Quintero feat. Francis Mbappe – Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (Roots Mute Mix)
Ray Munnings – Funky Nassau
Freddi Hench & The Soulsetters – I Like Funky Music
Chocolate Milk – Who’s Getting It Now
Tom Scott and the L.A. Express – Jump Back
Jackie Moore – Heart Be Still
Patti & The Emblems – It’s The Little Things
Patrick Moraz – Rana Batucada
EDC & Friends feat. Sylvia Kristel – Changes (Zuco 102 Mix)

Listen here to the full 2 hours Brokers show with the first hour by resident dj Oswald Moris, followed by my own mix of ultra rare South-African, Nigerian, Liberian & Brazilian grooves. Some really funky Disco rarities too….enjoy!

with love from Utrecht ARC record fair -April 2019

well folks, happy to have survived another 3 days of unlimited digging and selling on the biggest record fair in the World; the Spring edition of the ARC record fair in Utrecht.

As ever, the bi-yearly pow wow of national and international dealers provided the finest selection of top-end collectible vinyl, as well as a huge amount of cheap vinyl and everything in between. Something for everybody.

I had brought quite a nice selection of original South African vinyl, ranging from electronic afro-synth, boogie, bubblegum, kwaito as well as rare jazz. And other African music too, next to soundtracks, disco, soul, reggae, latin and a small but intriguing selection of unusual and weird records. Thanks to all customers, new and regular, for visiting my stall and supporting this selection. Next autumn I will be back with lots of more goodies…. at my stall nr. 388

Soul Safari Radio -Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1 -11th August 2018

soul safari radio podcast 1 gecomp

hi World…here is a new initiative from Soul Safari. A podcast to highlight and celebrate some great unknown South African music!

For this very first show I selected 12 really cool and rare 45 singles by the best of South African Soul Jazz groups, all records from my own collection.  Different styles ranging from vocal to instrumental tunes, recorded and released between 1969 to 1982. Seldom heard on any radio-show…but exclusively now for your ears here on Soul Safari as a podcast.  35 minutes of great South African soul jazz.

I do hope you will enjoy this new initiative!

Here is the playlist and pics from all records played….

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Soul Safari Radio –Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1

-11th August 2018

The Pedlars -At The Club

The Family -Hear Say

The Pedlars -Right On

The Mechanics -Why Not?

The Bee Dees -Big Brother

The Movers -I Need Somebody

The Go-Aheads -Go Ahead Pt 1

The Blue Revues -Spook Mahala

The Flaming Souls -Oh Darling!

Ray Jazz Combo -The Golden Step

Soul Giants -Soul Prayer

The Jazz Clan -Oh Happy Day

 

see also

Funk Soul Brothers – part 2-The Flaming Souls ‘Soul Time’ 1969 South Africa

Basa Basa ‘Homowo’ aka Basa Basa Experience ‘Together We Win’ -Ghana

Basa Basa Homowo -1979 Nigerian Holy Grail. Now available as a 2018 reissue by Vintage Voudou, The Netherlands, with extensive liner notes and fold-out poster

Soul Safari

Originally released in 1979 in Nigeria this album remains one of the highly prized ‘holy grails’ of African music. Basa Basa Experience ‎– Together We Win Label: Take Your Choice Records (TYC) ‎– TYC 115-L

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see also previous post Piliso -Thumela -rare Afrobeat from South Africa 1983

Both albums by Piliso and Basa Basa Experience ‎were produced by Themba Matebese, a member of Nigerian band T-Fire. Other members are Igo Chico, Kenneth Okulolo, Lekan Animashaun, Mike Collins, Tobahoun Abalo, Tunde Williams.  In T-Fire Themba Matebese was responsible for the vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards and percussion as well as for the composition of most of their songs. He also wrote  ‘African Soul Power’, the standout track on ‘Together We Win’. The album got repressed on Peach River Records in Holland in 1983 under a new title ‘Homowo’, the group name was shortened to Basa Basa.

Liner notes; Basa Basa is a highlife band, the nuclues being the Nyaka Twins from…

View original post 75 more words

Voom-Ba Voom -Rock ‘n Roll in South Africa

 

In the 1930’s African Jazz Music became an important feature in the lives of many urban Africans and some remarkable talent began to emerge in Johannesburg.

In 1952 the Union of Southern African Artists came into being with the dual function of promoting the talent that had already been shown to exist in the musical and dramatic field and to act as an Artist’s Equity. The union promoted Township Jazz concerts which were the first large scale African entertainments to be presented in the capital of South Africa, and arranged for white and non-European audiences to see and hear a wide range of entertainment by black and colored artists.

South African Institute for Race Relations presents African Jazz and Variety

The Woody Woodpeckers -Fanagalo 

Fanagalo is a pidgin or simplified language, based primarily on Zulu. It is used as a lingua franca, mainly by workers in the gold, diamond, coal and copper mines.

the-woody-woodpeckers   This rare 10″  includes two songs by The Woody Woodpeckers, a group around  songwriter and musician, Victor Ndlazilwane, who was awarded the Metro FM Lifetime Achievement award in 2006 in South Africa. During his early career, Ndlazilwane was part of the legendary Woody Woodpeckers group as well as the Jazz Ministers, both of which were signed to Gallo Record Company. The Jazz Ministers were the first African jazz band to perform at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival in New York.

King Jeff & His African Jazz Troupe -Rock Around The Clock 

At the end of the 40’s and mid-50’s when Rock ‘n Roll swept through the world like a tsunami, a bleached derivative of American Jazz and R&B music was popular in South Africa. Black and white musicians, singers and performers catered for the refined taste of the well heeled visitors and sophisticated dancers that frequented the big hotels and nightclubs of the big cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.  There existed a circuit of hip hangouts and palaces of nocturnal pleasures; theaters, nightclubs, bars and restaurants where live music was an extra attraction to the fine dining and luxurious surroundings. Valet parking included. But the jungle rhythms of the American originals  were a wee bit too adventurous to serve as a soundtrack for an exquisite night out at The Colony Hotel or The Beachcomber. So more musicians, singers and bands turned towards the then popular sound of the Mediterranean countries like Italy or Portugal. Many landed in Johannesburg , the city of gold & diamonds where riches and fame was to be found aplenty.

a night at Franco's watermarked    Such a nightclub/restaurant was Franco’s, located in downtown Johannesburg. The nightclub was a famous hangout for the city’s well-heeled crowd, musical entertainment consisted mainly of evergreens from around the world, sometimes local songs were included in the repertoire. A mixed bag really, something you can dance to or just listen to in the safety of a segregated environment.

The Beachcomber in Durban and The Grand Hotel Beira in Mozambique were similar hangouts, where well-to-do visitors from Portuguese Angola, the Belgian Congo or the Rhodesias could unwind on a dream holiday. Or they came to make a business deal, or simply to be entertained by the best of performers around.

Grande Hotel, a beautiful Art Deco resort in Beira, Mozambique opened in 1955.

The Three Petersen Brothers and Nico Carstens and his Orchestra

The Three Petersen Brothers, Mervyn, Basil and Andy, are really brothers who belong to one of the oldest theatrical families in South Africa. They are versatile and musically gifted, touring the country, appearing on stage, in variety and as cabaret artists in every nightclub in South Africa, in addition to regular radio performances. ‘On Safari’ is their first LP recording together with the famous Nico Carstens Orchestra.

from the original liner notes by Anton De Waal of ‘On Safari’ Columbia 33JS 11011 South Africa 

Three Petersen Brothers -Voom-Ba Voom 

Three Petersen Brothers -Pondoland

Three Petersen Brothers -Jo’burg Samba

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers

“Gold Rock (You’ve Got to Dig, Dig, Dig for Gold)” is the title of a 78 rpm by Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers. The song explains why a small settlement in Gauteng could grow into the famed capital of ‘eGoli’, a Zulu word meaning “place of gold”. Johannesburg could not be bettered as an appropriate locale for the story of all those who came starry eyed to the big city, chasing a dream.

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Gold Rock

Nigel Crawford with the Gold Diggers -Hamba Lala (African Calypso)

john massey and his warriors -fanagalo watermarked

 

John Massey and his Warriors -African Rock ‘n Roll 

John Massey and his Warriors -Fanagalo