botswana guitar music

There’s something about this strummy, plaintive guitar music from South and Eastern Africa that I can’t get enough of.  You could probably say that the melodicism is attractive to Western ears because of a sort of troublesome level of forced colonial-era cultural exchange, but I prefer to think of it as a masterful adaption and synthesis with recognizable elements of both traditional African music and Western folk music.  The technique in the first video is pretty amazing.  It looks like he removes the 5th string to emphasize the bass line and enable that really warm twang with forceful downstrokes on the higher strings.  Anyway…no point in really talking about it too much, it’s better just to listen.

addendum: Johuat, please explain this matter/antimatter CP violation thing to us.  thx.


2 Responses to “botswana guitar music”

  1. 1 matthew
    May 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    you should check out the french label ocora (it got/gets (?) us distro through harmonia mundi). i don’t believe they ever featured music from botswana, but they put out a plethora of compilations that spanned a good portion of southern africa. most of the albums should be easily google-able, but here is a nice place to start:


  2. 2 jeff
    May 21, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    thanks for the tip, I’m checking it out now. I’ve heard some similar music from Tanzania before (the Kilwa Jazz Band in particular) but have never been able to track a recorded version down. Also, my characterizing this music as confined to the south and east might be inaccurate but it seems like the stuff I hear from west Africa has a different quality too it.

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