Sweet As Broken Dates : Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa
by Various artists

En 1988, à la veille d'une guerre civile qui durera deux décennies, le dirigeant autoritaire de Somalie, Siad Barre, a lancé des attaques aériennes punitives au nord du pays, aujourd'hui connu sous le nom de Somaliland, en réponse à des agitations pour l'indépendance. Le bombardement a nivelé toute la ville et ciblé Radio Hargeisa afin de prévenir tout type de système de communication centralisé qui pourrait servir à organiser une résistance.

Avec l'attaque imminente, quelques opérateurs de radio courageux et des avant-gardes dévouées de la culture somalienne, savaient qu'ils devaient au risque perdre de leurs vies, protéger les archives contenant plus d'un demi-siècle de musique somalienne. Des milliers de cassettes et de bobines ont ainsi rapidement été retirées des bâtiments avant d'être dispersées dans des pays voisins ou enterrés sous terre. Ostinato Records a réussi à retrouver certaines ces trésors perdus et à compiler ces 15 titres rares et exceptionnels.


In 1988, on the eve of a two decade civil war, Somalia’s authoritarian ruler Siad Barre launched punishing air strikes on the north of the country, known today as Somaliland, in response to agitations for independence. The bombing leveled the entire city. Barre targeted Radio Hargeisa to prevent any kind of central communication system that could organize a resistance.

With the attack imminent, a few brave radio operators and dedicated vanguards of Somali culture knew the archives, containing over half a century of Somali music had to be preserved. Thousands upon thousands of cassette tapes and master reels were quickly removed from the soon-to-be targeted buildings. They were dispersed to neighboring countries like Djibouti and Ethiopia, and buried deep under the ground to withstand even the most powerful airstrikes.

“We buried them in the ground so the bomb’s won’t hit,” one former leading journalist with Radio Hargeisa told us.

These audio artifacts were excavated and recalled from their foreign shelters only very recently. Some of those recordings are now kept safe in the 10,000-strong cassette tape archive of the Red Sea Foundation, the largest collection of Somali cassettes in the world, in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa. The Ostinato Records team digitized a large portion of the archive, distilling 15 songs that reveal the panoramic diversity of styles and sophistication of Somali musicianship.

Tracklist :
1. Nimco Jamaac - Buuraha U Dheer (The Highest Mountains)
2. Aamina Camaari - Rag waa Nacab iyo Nasteexo (Men are Cruel and Kind)
3. Ali Nuur - Unknown
4. Hibo Nuura - Haddii Hoobalkii Gabay (If the Artist Lets You Down)
5. Gacaltooyo Band feat. Faduumina Hilowle - Ninkaan Ogayn (He Who Does Not Know)
6. Iftiin Band feat. Mahmud Abdalla "Jerry" Hussen & Maryan Naasir - Xuduud Ma Leh Xubigaan (This Love Has No Boundaries)
7. Xasan Diiriye - Qaraami (Love)
8. Dur Dur Band feat. Sahra Dawo - Gorof (Elixir)
9. Sharaf Band feat. Xaawo Hiiraan - Kadeed Badanaa Naftaydani (My Life is Full of Tribulations)
10. 4 Mars - Na Daadihi (Guide Us)
11. Danan Hargeysa feat. Mohamed "Huro" Abdihashi - Uur Hooyo (Mother's Womb)
12. Sharero Band feat. Faadumo Qaasim - Qays iyo Layla (Romeo & Juliet)
13. Waaberi Band (composed by Said Mohamed Harawo) - Oktoobar Waatee? Waa Taayadii (What's October? It's Ours)
14. Dur Dur Band feat. Muqtar Idi Ramadan - Duruuf Maa Laygu Diidee (Rejected Due to My Circumstance)
15. Iftiin Band feat. Mahmud Abdalla "Jerry" Hussen - Anaa Qaylodhaankaan

Label : Ostinato Records

CD 2LP 2019
VAT excl. €16,67