If you are ordering more than 4 items international shipping, please contact me to get the correct postage amount. If you are having difficulties placing your order, please email us at email@example.com. Let us know if you would like to join our mailing list.
Andean party music from the central sierra of Peru. Tayta Shanti’s long history of complex syncretism is expressed through its simple song structure. Minimal and raw, or layered with intricate arrangements, its unrelenting rhythm mesmerizes as much as it moves. 16 songs of pure folklore, spanning the late 1960s until the early 1980s. Compilation includes liner notes and photos. Instant mountain rave.
Digital copies are available at our bandcamp page here: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/
Sweet and joyful sounds from the first half of 1960’s Tanzania. Salum Abdallah and Cuban Marimba Band were at the forefront of “muziki wa dansi”, the emerging dance music scene influenced by Cuban 78’s, dance music crazes like the twist and cha cha cha, and the local sounds of their home country. Hailing from the smaller town of Morogoro, they rose to be stars across the country. Out of over 100 sides recorded for local labels, mostly Mzuri Records of Kenya, these twelve songs are the cream of the crop. Only a few of these have ever been re-released in any form, and that hasn’t happened for several years. Lots of toe tappers, smile enhancers, and downright dancers, with a few slower and simpler songs to round it out. Taken from 1961-65, these twelve songs shine a brighter light on an already bright light that was Salum Abdallah, taken away from this earth all too early at the age of 37. The 12 song LP comes in an old style tip-on sleeve with lyrics in Swahili with English translations on the inner sleeve.
A long time coming, “Ilana” is Mdou’s first true studio album with a live band. Recorded in Detroit at the tail end of a US tour by engineer Chris Koltay (the two met after bonding over ZZ Top’s “Tres Hombres”), the band lived in the studio for a week, playing into the early hours. Mdou was accompanied by an all-star band: Ahmoudou Madassane’s (Les Filles de Illighadad) lighting fast rhythm guitar, Aboubacar Mazawadje’s machine gun drums, and Michael Coltun’s structured low-end bass. The album was driven by lots of spontaneity – Mdou’s preferred method of creation – jumping into action whenever inspiration struck. The resulting tracks were brought back to Niger to add final production: additional guitar solos, overdubs of traditional percussion, and a general ambiance of Agadez wedding vibes.
The result is Mdou’s most ambitious record to date. “Ilana” takes the tradition laid out by the founders into hyperdrive, pushing Tuareg guitar into an ever louder and blistering direction. In contrast to the polished style of the typical “world music” fare, Mdou trades in unrelenting grit and has no qualms about going full shred. From the spaghetti western licks of “Tarhatazed,” the raw wedding burner “Ilana,” to the atmospheric Julie Cruise-ish ballad “Tumastin,” Mdou’s new album seems at home amongst some of the great seminal Western records. But Mdou disagrees with the classification. Mdou grew up listening to the Tuareg guitar greats, and it was only in the past few years on tour that he was introduced to the genre. “I don’t know what rock is exactly, I have no idea,” he says, I only know how to play in my style.”
***** PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WANT THIS OUTSIDE THE US, YOU MUST EMAIL FIRST - IT WILL BE $85-100 ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COST*****
12.5 × 12.5-inch Hardcover 300 page full color art book weighing around 7 pounds or 3 kilograms. The covers has die cuts embedded and holds 2 LP’s.
Dead Moon were a DIY band, active for 19 years. Singer and guitarist Fred Cole was playing music since the early 1960’s – beginning his career as “Deep Soul Cole – the white Stevie Wonder”, then joining the psychedelic garage rock band the Lollipop Shoppe / The Weeds. In the 70’s and early 80’s Fred and Toody Cole played in various punk, country and hard rock bands. In the late 1980’s, they formed Dead Moon with Andrew Loomis. This band went on to become mythic and legendary. They lived by a DIY code built around superstitions and avoidance of conventional music industry pitfalls. Their story is completely unique amongst the pantheon on rock bands – a group who never sold out, never gave in and built a legacy of art and community piece by piece in a sustainable way almost unheard of. The book is a tribute to their unique aesthetic, unbelievable twisted path of a story, and roll as pioneers of the Portland music scene.
The book tells the entire Dead Moon saga in the words of the band itself. Just the voices of Fred, Toody and Andrew. It includes a complete illustrated discography of everything Fred, Toody and Andrew have released, song lyrics, and TONS of band photos, flyers, and weird ephemeral stuff. Lots of it has never been seen by the greater public. The package also includes 2 LP’s of the “best of” Dead Moon – lovingly remastered from the original tapes. 2nd Edition.
Ethiopian artist Sosena Gebre Eyesus sings accompanied by her playing of the Begena, or King David’s Harp, one of the world’s oldest and most beguiling instruments. Since ancient times the Harp of David has been used as an aural balm, a soother of evil and disturbed spirits —it’s low, buzzing tones widely noted for their ability to sweetly refresh one’s soul. Said to have been brought to Ethiopia in biblical times by Menelik I, it has long been the central instrument used to accompany Ethiopian Orthodox hymns, which Eyesus plays here in an absolutely entrancing manner while softly singing songs of devotional reflection. Featuring six beautiful hymns that gently unspool at the measured pace of a lullaby, Sosena Gebre Eyesus magically creates a rarefied atmosphere that feels absolutely necessary and vital for these most turbulent of days.
Originally released on cassette, this is a limited edition lp of 500 copies.
Also available as a digital download: https://littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/sosena-gebre-eyesus
NEw Sahel SoundS
Nigerién composer Hama presents a groundbreaking album of traditional electronic desert folk songs, hovering somewhere between early 90s techno and synthwave. Nomadic herding ballads, ancient caravan songs, and ceremonial wedding chants are all re-imagined into pieces seemingly lifted from a Saharan 1980s sci-fi soundtrack or score to a Tuareg video game. With a deep love and respect, Hama effortlessly takes back and re-appropriates fourth-world ethnoambient music.
One of only a handful of electronic musicians in West Africa, Hama a.k.a. Hama Techno follows in the footsteps of avant-garde electronic pioneers like Mamman Sani Abdoulaye, Francis Bebey, and Luka Productions. His debut release was a huge success on the underground mp3 networks of West Africa and was featured in The Wire, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone. Hama continues with his signature digital folk with an expansion into computer-based compositions. Painstaking crafted on the spotty electric grid in Niamey with earbuds and a hacked copy of FruityLoops, Houmeissa is the result of remarkable passion. Inspired by diverse sounds spanning Tuareg guitar to second wave Detroit Techno, Saharan folk songs are transformed into atemporal works that defy categorization.
Hama builds patterns of varied time signatures and distinct polyrhythms, deconstructing and rebuilding ancient traditions on drag and drop virtual keyboards. Airy sweeping pads evoke the open desert while rumbling dark undertones warn of a coming dust storm. Instrumentals layer looping pentatonic melodies into a blissed-out trance, while soft synths and fake electric guitars cry out a call and response. The effect is charmingly unexpected, as the plastic sounds of early PC music are imbued with a new life. A singularly unique production, Hama's Houmeissa stands to be a future classic and an embodiment of the digital Sahara to come.
In exile from his city in Northern Mali, singer/songwriter Ahmed Ag Kaedy returns to the origins of Tuareg folk with sessions of stripped down solo acoustic guitar. Mellow pentatonic notes dance over plaintive vocals, intimate and close mic'd, endearing in their simplicity. Drifting from melancholic ballads and pleas for peace, “Akaline Kidal” is a politically charged and poignant recording for a community ripped apart by division and civil war.
While the Tuareg guitar genre is popularized by rock heavyweights like Tinariwen and Bombino, the origins of the genre are in simple acoustic arrangements. Created in the 1980s as political folk music, the first recordings were made on contraband cassette tapes. Distributed on underground networks, the music spread throughout the diaspora, planting the seeds of revolution and establishing Tuareg guitar sound.
Recorded onto 8-track cassette tape in a basement studio in Portland, Oregon, “Akaline Kidal” is a call back to these early recordings. Captured in continuous single takes, the effect is unfiltered and raw. Like his predecessors, Ahmed Ag Kaedy imbues his songs with a pointed focus as he transmits a message home.
RECENT LITTLE AXE CASSETTES
BACK IN PRINT!
Esther Suarez, also known as La Ocrasina De Oro, is a popular Peruvian Huayno singer. La Bolognesina is one of her earlier albums, featuring reverbed vocals over Andean harps supplemented with light percussion and handclaps. The album was recorded in 1981, with the title referring to her roots near the snow-capped Andean mountains of the Bolognesi province in the Ancash region of Peru. Peru experienced waves of mass rural-to-urban migration in the latter half of the twentieth century due to poverty and political instability, but with it also came an explosion in the popularity of the folkloric Huayno tradition. An urban and modernized studio version of ancient indigenous Quechua folk traditions, Huayno became the soundtrack to the migrant’s experience of both hardship and homesickness. Esther Suarez’s clear and yearning vocals soar over galloping huayno rhythms, evoking the highlands of her youth with heartbreak, regret and melancholy, while simultaneously looking to a place where there is always a will to live and an invitation to dance. Truly some of the most beautiful music ever.
Digital copies can be purchased here:littleaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/esther-suarez-la-bolognesina