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***"Grandmaster Masese is one of only a handful of living practitioners of the obokano, the unique eight stringed lyre of the Gusii people of Western Kenya (Africa). The obokano is notable not only for its massive size, but also for its unique bass heavy, rhythmic buzz filled sound. Its trance inducing sounds are unforgettable. Masese himself is a seasoned musician, a dedicated human rights advocate, teacher, author and scholar based in Nairobi, Kenya. Masese’s commitment to his music and his enthusiasm to bring its sounds to the rest of the world inspired this collection of his songs. Rather than simply present an ethno-musicological presentation of traditional obokano music, he opted to create as unique a work as possible. I first ran into Masese in a club in Nairobi, where I saw him playing this giant bowl shaped lyre and heard him producing some of the most unique musical sounds I had ever experienced. It didn’t take me long to approach him about a possible collaboration. My label, Dagoretti Records, put out a single in 2019 which brought the attention of numerous alt-music luminaries including Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt, who featured it on a must listen list on the Bandcamp Daily. Grandmaster Masese’s first full length album features an international cast of musical characters, all adding to his singular sound. These include Kunal Prakesh (Jeff the Brotherhood, Weather Warlock) on guitar, Tokyo based percussionist and sound artist Samm Bennett (UA, Haco, Elliot Sharp, etc. etc. etc.), Detroit area percussionist Mike...

LP $20.25

07/29/2022  

DG42 


Those Days Are Dust, Dream Erosion Part II by Thomas, Fred

Thomas, Fred

Those Days Are Dust, Dream Erosion Part II
Dagoretti

***Though he's more widely known for the easily digestible indie pop of his bands Idle Ray, Failed Flowers, and Saturday Looks Good To Me, Michigan-based artist Fred Thomas has an equally entrenched footing in experimental sounds and abstract instrumental music. His 2020 album Dream Erosion was a collection of languorous synth atmospheres that washed by in soft fragments, sounding beamed in directly from lost memories of a childhood visit to a planetarium. Those Days Are Dust is the second collection of Thomas' synthesizer pieces, this time taking a turn away from the gentle, sleepy glow of its predecessor for an approach that's spare and absorptive. Where Dream Erosion was made up of fully arranged songs, the process for Those Days Are Dust was different. Usually working with a single synth and a few different analog tape delay units, Thomas recorded experiments with loops and minimal composition daily throughout 2021. This resulted in music with a wintery feel, skeletal and solitary sounds akin to Hans-Joachim Roedelius' reflective sketches or the loneliest passages of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works catalog. Instead of polished, straightforward presentation, non-musical elements came into greater focus with these new loop-born songs. Tape hiss, white noise, disruptive distortion, and sounds happening within the environment were all tied into the production almost like additional instruments. On one song, a mic was placed directly on a heating vent as it wheezed in the room.

LP $20.25

07/29/2022  

DG43 


***Follow up to 2020's acclaimed self titled LP on Dagoretti Records, this one picks up where that one left off. Dr Pete Larson spent several years in Kenya under the tutelage of one of the last elder masters of the nyatiti, the eight stringed lyre of the Luo people in Kenya. But of course Larson had to go and mess it all up and create this African-psyche fuzz guitar synth fusion soundscape with indy rocker Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me), acclaimed percussionist Mike List (Porcelain Hammer), and Dave Sharp (Melvins). Not to be missed.

LP $17.75

07/16/2021  

DG41 


Where I Go, I Am There by Nyagweno, Oduor

Nyagweno, Oduor

Where I Go, I Am There
Dagoretti

***Oduor Nyagweno is one of the last great elder players of the nyatiti, the eight stringed lyre of the Luo people from along the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. This is a collection of recordings done by Michigan based freak musician Dr. Pete Larson on his cell phone during their weekly lessons. Featuring a range of nyatiti songs, from traditional to modern, songs of heartbreak, tribute songs, salacious songs of randy happenings and musings on life, this could be one of the most comprehensive collections of material from one of the greatest practitioners of the traditional musical arts.

LP $17.75

07/09/2021  

DG41 


***Abusuzit Akugru is an elder singer, performer and matriarch from Binaba in the North of Ghana. This special LP showcases her mindblowing talents, recorded in her home village with her band. 12 tracks of the most amazingly soulful gonje music like you have never heard before. Check it out. We promise that you'll be dancing and weeping tears of joy in no time. Gonje is a West African fiddle, accompanied by the siyat shakers and Abusizit's overwhelmingly great vocals. Recorded on a cell phone in Abusizit's village, outside, as it was meant to be. LP is limited to a mere 100 copies.

LP $17.75

06/04/2021  

DG39 


***Dagoretti Records is proud to present the second vinyl offering from Washington, DC’s Heart of the Ghost. HOTG are a mindblowing three-piece improvisational free jazz group featuring Ian McColm on percussion, alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore and bassist Luke Stewart. “Live at Rhizome” pairs Heart of the Ghost up with trumpeter Dave Ballou for a special recording. Recorded by Don Godwin and featuring art by Tatev Sargsyan (a Rhizome staple) this is their second vinyl offering from Dagoretti Records. Features liner notes from Ken Vandermark.

LP $17.75

09/11/2020  

DG25 


***opaquer is the first vinyl full length release from Kenyan sounds artist and producer KMRU (Joseph Kamaru). KMRU has been active on digital platforms for the past 4 years and has developed a significant music catalogue. KMRU knits sounds from his own Nairobi into expansive and cerebral ambient compositions that never fail to envelop the listener and leave them wanting more. In addition to his prolific output on his Bandcamp page, KMRU has released music on Byrd Out (UK) and was featured on Deadmau5's label Mau5trap for a track on their We Are Friends compilation. KMRU was selected as one of Resident Advisor's 15 East African artists you need to hear from 2018. KMRU’s sounds combine everything from gritty, indigenous field recordings to piano to 303. Dagoretti Records is proud to present opaquer to the world. African electronic music is among the most progressive music in the world right now and KMRU is at the forefront of this exciting aural movement. Limited edition.

LP $17.75

09/11/2020  

DG30 


***"DAVE SHARP called the Dagoretti Records office one day in September, 2016 asking if he could do a recording session in Nairobi. We naturally told him 'Yes!' not believing he might actually come. Through some twist of fate, Dave came into a handful of money and appeared unannounced in May of 2017. NDIO SASA were available without question. An SMS message was sent out to BOAZ JAGINGO (of KENGE KENGE ORUFU SYSTEM). A positive reply came immediately, time was booked at ADA and we were practicing the next day armed with nothing more than a few riffs and ideas. Dave is a well known professional bass player from Michigan with a heavy, distinctive sound with jazz, Indian, funk and metal influences. Boaz is among the best active musicians in Kenya, playing the orutu, a one stringed, violin like instrument from Western Kenya and singing in a traditional Luo style. KABOGE is an accomplished African percussionist who melds numerous percussion styles from East and West Africa. Alongside him is TOMO TSUKAHARA, percussionist from Japan who has lived in East Africa for nearly a decade. PETE LARSON plays the nyatiti, an eight stringed lyre like instrument from the Lake Victoria region of Kenya and the shamisen from Japan. Rounding out the sound is COLIN CROWLEY, a long time resident of Kenya who plays the American banjo in a Malian clawhammer style typical of the ngoni. This was a truly unique mix of people create a truly unique sound. The sessions for the...

LP $17.75

01/17/2020  

DG21/BLB122 


***"I first saw HEART OF THE GHOST in Ypsilanti, MI in July of 2018 having heard of them through mutual friend and percussionist Sam Lohman. Immediately, I was floored by their unapologetic, aggressive and bass heavy take on classic free jazz music. Their sound is challenging and cerebral yet contains distinct ebbs and flows of sound that is difficult to ignore. Bassist LUKE STEWART is ubiquitous on the Baltimore/DC improvised music scene both as a solo artist and as a member of TRIO OOO (with my buddy Sam), NEW ARTISTS ORCHESTRA, IRREVERSIBLE ENTANGLEMENTS and others. Luke has already done more in his short time as a performing bassist than most musicians do in entire lifetimes. His thoughtful and challenging approach to stand up bass playing is at once mesmerizing and overwhelming. Multi instrumentalist IAN MCCOLM graduated from the Oberlin Music Conservatory and experiments with a wide variety of sounds both internationally and in and around the DC area and releases music under his IGM moniker. Ian brings a nuanced set of sounds into an otherwise hulking mountain of sonic chaos. Alto saxophone player JARRETT GILGORE, though unassuming in person, takes a blistering approach to the sax, leaving audiences feeling as if they have been hit with a pot of boiling water. In addition to Heart of the Ghost,  he plays in Triage with Noah Jarrett and Kevin Ripley, Anthony Pirog's Body Puzzle, Xenga. Baltimore Afrobeat Society, Chris Pumphrey Sextet, Jaimie Branch's Bombshelter.

LP $17.75

11/29/2019  

DG 15/BLB 116