Musicophilia Daily

[Audio] – Uknown Burundi Umudli Musician – “Hail to Micombero” (1974)

Posted in Audio by Soundslike on March 16, 2009


Unknown Burundi Umudli Musician – “Hail to Micombero” (1974)

Many non-Africans are familiar with Burundi’s drumming traditions (via “Burundi Black,” Joni Mitchell’s “The Jungle Line,” or Adam & The Ants or Bow Wow Wow circa ’81).  But there seems to have been a lot going on musically in this tiny landlocked country despite decades of political unrest and ethnic warring.  This track features a zither-like instrument called an umudli, which has an almost electronic, “phasing” sound.  Spare, hypnotic, minimalist and surely an inspiration to plenty of the sort of musician-weirdos who bought this music before “world music” was a commodity, in 1974.  (I imagine everyone reading this knows that the Nonesuch ‘Explorer Series’ LPs from the 60s-80s are almost all mind-expanding as introductions to (mostly traditional) musics from around the world, often wonderfully well recorded “in the field,” preserving traditional and evolving forms of music that even at the time were disappearing.  If you didn’t–go buy the discs reissued from Africa, South America, and Pacific Asia as soon as you can, and cross your fingers that the rest of the series from India, China, and Europe are eventually reissued.)


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