SONG OF THE DAY Yaseen & Party – Kiss To Kiss

afr7-lp-05-jacket-frontI’d really love to know the original release date to this sweet, sweet piece of music, it’s so bloody addictive!! I know that some of this music was originally issued on shellac, so I’m going to assume its from the late 1950’s-early 1960’s?

Yaseen Mohamed was a Kenyan artist who specialised in taarab music (a genre popular in Tanzania and Kenya which was influenced by the musical traditions of the African Great Lakes, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent).  His arrangements drew influences from Indian and Egyptian film music, rhythm and blues, jazz and Latin music – a combination which makes for the most bewitching of sounds!

Sung with a characteristic, dark voice, Yaseen’s Swahili poetry was layered over rich percussion patterns, accompanied by the distinctive sound of the Clavioline (a proto-synth) and amplified taishokoto (a novelty harp instrument of Japanese origin that Yaseen helped popularise in Kenya in the 1940s).  While working for Mombasa record shop and music studio Assanand & Sons, it was here that he learnt the Taishokoto in the 1940s and his pioneering mastery of this instrument shaped the sound of Kenyan music! On many of his songs Yaseen is also accompanied by his wife Mimi on vocals.

To celebrate the work of this artist, Finnish based record label, Afro7 Records released a compilation of his work in 2019. Boasting a lavish collection of 12 taarab songs from 1960s coastal Kenya by Yaseen Mohamed (Mac & Party), this record shares for the first time a wealth of his music, with Afro7 describing this offering as: “Musically rich and unique for its time and place, this compilation is a treasure trove of songs and a feast for your ear…..”

…And what a feast it is too!!! Today’s song is one of the fruits of this collection and I adore it!! More so after the many, many listens I’ve savoured today!! Kiss To Kiss is a delight for the ears and a treat for the soul…it’s certainly soothed mine!!

Check it out above and if you fancy grabbing a copy of the whole album, you can find that here. 

About The Listening Post Blog

The Listening Post Blog - A place to discover new sounds, where the music speaks for itself..
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