After the Somali mix we posted and the live recording of Awesome Tapes From Africa, the next piece of African diaspora music is here. It is both aurally and morally pleasing to have come across Janka Nabay and The Bubu Band, whose frontman is from Sierra Leone and who play a style of music called bubu. Bubu bases itself in Islam (and prior to that, witchcraft) and it has only been introduced to wider audiences since Janka himself first recorded it during the Sierra Leone civil war and also incorporated electronic sounds.
Born in Africa, Janka Nabay now resides in America which is where he found the rest of his band. They are set to release their second album ‘En Yay Sah’ on August 7th and Feba is the first single. It’s relentlessly upbeat, mixing twangy guitar, endlessly pacey but manageable drums, light-hearted flutes, vocals from Janka, and backing vocals from Boshra Al-Saadi. The rest of the band all hail from Brooklyn and each belong to separate indie and experimental bands. Doug Shaw is also part of Gang Gang Dance, Jason McMahon and Jonathan Leland of Skeletons), and Michael Gallope of Starring.
The result of this mix of American musicians who have come together with one from west coast Africa is excellent and they’ve created a cleverly produced track that beautifully fuses not just these two cultures, but others including jazz elements and other African rhythm-based music. What I like most, though, is there’s a whole album still to be released.