Dur-Dur Band: Of Soma V1+2 3LP
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Following Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb's dangerous trip to Mogadishu in November of 2016, the label presents Dur Dur of Somalia: Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks. Dur-Dur, a young band from the '80s, climaxed as a band in April of 1987 with the release of Volume 2, their second album. The secrets to Dur-Dur's rapid success is inextricably linked to the vision of Isse Dahir, founder and keyboard player of the band. Isse's plan was to locate some of the most forward-thinking musicians of Mogadishu's buzzing scene and lure them into Dur-Dur. Ujeeri, the band's mercurial bass player was recruited from Somali jazz and drummer extraordinaire Handal previously played in Bakaka Band. Isse also added his two younger brothers to the line-up: Abukar Dahir Qassin was brought in to play lead guitar, and Ahmed Dahir Qassin was hired as a permanent sound engineer. On their first two albums, Volume 1 and Volume 2, three different singers traded lead-vocal duties back and forth. Shimaali, formerly of Bakaka Band, handled the Dhaanto songs, a Somalian rhythm from the northern part of the country that bears a striking resemblance to reggae; Sahra Dawo, a young female singer, had been recruited from Somalia's national orchestra, the Waaberi Band. Their third singer, the legendary Baastow, who had also been a vocalist with the Waaberi Band, and had been brought into Dur-Dur due to his deep knowledge of traditional Somali music, particularly Saar, a type of music intended to summon the spirits during religious rituals. From the very beginning, Dur-Dur's doctrine was the fusion of traditional Somali music with whatever rhythms would make people dance: funk, reggae, soul, disco, and new wave were mixed effortlessly with Banaadiri beats, Dhaanto, and spiritual Saar music. The concoction was explosive. It initially seemed that Dur-Dur's music had only been preserved as a series of murky tape dubs and YouTube videos, but after Samy arrived in Mogadishu he eventually got to the heart of Mogadishu's tape-copying network and ended up finding some of the band's fabled master tapes, long thought to have disappeared. This set reissues the band's first two albums -- the first installment in a three-part series dedicated to Dur-Dur Band -- representing the first fruit of Analog Africa's long labors to bring this extraordinary music to the wider world. Remastered from the best available audio sources. Includes two previously unreleased tracks; Accompanied by extensive liner notes, featuring interviews with original band members.