EKUKA : S/T [ Nyege Nyege Tapes ]
Catalogue : Nyege Nyege / NNT007
Format : 2LP, Limited, Colored
Condition : New
Country : Uganda
Released : 2018
Genre : African
Hailing from the Langi tribe of Lira, Northern Uganda, legendary local griot Ekuka Morris Sirikiti performs his music in various situations - festivities, market days, and other gatherings - on a homemade foot/drum contraption coupled with the Lukeme; a small, handheld thumb piano that produces flurries of metallic rhythmelody under deft digits, and is maybe best known as an Mbira in its heavily distorted use by the DRC’s amazing Konono Nº1, as well as myriad other recordings from the vast Central and East African region.
Entirely comprising home recordings of the original radio broadcasts made on various devices, the music on ‘Ekuka’ is understandably distorted to differing degrees, resulting a broad spectrum of fidelities that are both unavoidable and inherent to the music, its reception, and its perception by those who didn’t catch the broadcast as it happened. Even with Matt Colton’s mastering, the selections, drawn from 25 years of archived tapes, are thrillingly squashed, thistly and awash with ferric particles, and are intended to be received in the same way they were originally: without gloss or affectation; as direct fire to ears.
The 12 songs selected zig-zag across the timeline 1978-2006, with an alternating patina of ferric noise that camouflages their chronology. Aside from the give-away, modern-sounding filters and electronic noise of the instrumental ‘PQ - Ekuka Rework’ - the set’s most recent piece - it’s difficult and unnecessary to discern their recording dates, as the songs serve a timeless social purpose, from everyday reminders to be a good husband; take your kids to school; and don’t disturb the wife of your son; to Government commissioned warnings about venereal diseases, drinking alcohol and paying taxes.