Poetry and Languid Charm: Swahili music

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COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: British Library/Topic
ALBUM TITLE: Various
PERFORMER: Various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: TSCD 936

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The British Library collection’s effete title, poetry and languid charm, originates in a recordist’s description of Mombasa c1950. It’s a melting pot of an experience featuring Egyptian vocals, Indian percussion, Arabian unison strings and more, in combinations that had evolved in coastal East Africa’s trading history. 

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Focused by the pressure of fitting 78 rpm sides, these compact, powerful performances still make their mark.