This mix features some of the original source material reworked for the sister album ‘Beating Heart - Malawi’, available now at https://lnk.to/oYQz0So Featuring Luke Vibert, Machinedrum, Throwing Shade, Rudimental, Kidnap Kid, My Nu Leng, Sonye, Clap! Clap! and many more.
The original field recordings are available on vinyl and digital at https://www.musicglue.com/beatingheart500/
Each 1500 albums sold will feed a school of 500 forever.
When Hugh Tracey (1903-1977) made 35,000 field recordings across Sub-Saharan Africa between the 1920s & 1970s, his intention was to reveal the beauty and complexity of this music to a world that saw little value in it.
Today, almost 90 years later, Tracey’s bid to preserve the music of Africa for future generations lives on. Beating Heart has connected the International Library of African Music (ILAM) archive with contemporary producers, making fresh sounds for a modern audience.
Arriving in southern Africa in 1921 with a suitcase, a keen musical ear, and some ‘well founded misgivings’ from his large middle class English family, Hugh Tracey was captivated by local music-making. With his ear pressed close against the microphone, he began a pioneering recording career that would last more than fifty years as he searched for, recorded and documented the best examples of musicianship throughout a vast and diverse continent. ILAM, the institution he founded in South Africa in 1954, stands as one of the world’s greatest collections of African music, containing over 35,000 unique items that span hundreds of different language groups across eighteen different countries in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
He recorded: Mouse-hunting songs, African separatist hymns, songs imitating the difficulty of the long-tailed paradise bird balancing in flight, songs about rain and poverty, songs celebrating football, songs for pulling canoes, songs which warn against European beer, songs which complain about venereal disease, songs about the sounds of unseen aeroplanes, fishing songs, paddling songs, songs with pauses while spittle is re-applied to moisten the reeds of a lyre, songs about a mosquito overturning a lorry, about a donkey complaining it wants wages instead of maize, about a baboon that dies after somersaulting for joy at hearing the sound of drums, commentaries on urbanisation, labour organisations and fighting campaigns in Burma, the Sneezewood swells of massed Mozambican xylophone orchestras, the oceanic rumbling rolls of packed Zulu choirs, the electrifying scorches of mouth-blown vulture quills, Ramadan town criers, hand‑moistened friction drums and a praise song for a bicycle mender.
The bulk of Tracey’s archival recordings were made during nineteen recording tours between 1948 and 1970. These tours visited Bechuanaland (Botswana), Belgian Congo (DRC), Kenya, Basutoland (Lesotho), Nyasaland (Malawi), Moçambique (Mozambique), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Ruanda-Urundi (Rwanda and Burundi), South Africa, Swaziland, Tanganyika (Tanzania), Uganda and Zanzibar.
'Beating Heart - Malawi' is the first in a series of albums.
- Field Recordings