Black Savage, Black Savage  
Black Savage
Black Savage
TIP  
EUR 1xLP 
Label: Afro 7
Release Year: 2018
Style: Latin & Brasil & Afro
 
  Tracks  
  A1 Savaged
A2 Don't Know What to Do
A3 Sharpeville
A4 Problems
A5 Kothbiro
A6 Grassland
B1 Exotica
B2 Do You Really Care
B3 Save the Savage
 
  The mid-seventies in Nairobi were a time of tremendous growth. In the first decade after independence, the city’s population doubled and the economy grew at a rapid pace. Pop culture experienced a boom, live music thrived around the city and young, aspiring musicians were exposed to a wide variety of local, regional and international influences. This was the time Nairobi developed into a musical melting pot that nurtured artists who are well remembered even outside Kenya, such as Les Mangelepa (still performing!), Matata, or Joseph Kamaru. The music industry increased its capacity and by 1975 local pressing plants were able to produce over 10,000 records per day. Amidst the proliferation of Kenyan music being released by hundreds of bands and solo artists, some of the most interesting records did not receive proper distribution or promotion, and four decades down the line they remain ungoogleable, unmentioned in discographies and generally unheard.

One band whose recorded output has been all but invisible until recently, but who are well remembered by people who were young in 1970s Nairobi, is Black Savage. Their music was released on an LP and three singles between the mid-70s and the early 80s, and has remained out of print ever after. The early years of the band, whose members met during their secondary school years in Nairobi, are well described in the liner notes accompanying the current reissue compilation by Afro7. Band leader Gordon was the son of professor Simeon Ominde, who had led the reform of Kenya’s educational system in 1964 upon independence, and who was teaching at Makerere University in Uganda in 1956 when his son was born. Gordon Ominde’s earliest memories included Louis Armstrong’s concert in Kampala in 1961, where – at the age of four – he was invited on stage and started conducting the band. Musical inspiration also came from his sisters who were singers, and from attending musical classes, although at Lenana – a former whites-only boarding school which was gradually being reformed to cater to Kenyans of different backgrounds – music education meant studying Beethoven and Mozart. Together with a group of younger students who shared an interest in music, including original Black Savage members Job Seda, Jack Otieno and Ali Nassir, he started practice sessions using the musical instruments that the school provided. After completing school the band decided to rejoin and pursue a career in music, despite all odds: obtaining their own instruments, finding rehearsal space and getting the approval of their families would all have been challenges in mid-seventies Kenya.

In 1973, two Kenyans of Indian heritage who had run a successful photo business since the mid-50s, gave Kenyan music a boost by investing in a 24-track recording studio, and by acquiring EMI, Pathé and other label licenses for recording and distributing local and international music. In the next few years the Sapra studio, record plant, tape duplication facility and colour printing business would become the go-to spot in Nairobi’s Industrial Area for musicians and labels from all around East Africa. The studio was built and – as the owners struggled to find a sufficiently trained local engineer – also run by Detlef Degener, a German who had come to Kenya to construct studios for training journalists. Between 1975 when Sapra studio opened and the end of 1978 when the company went bankrupt, he recorded hundreds of bands from as far as Zambia (many Zamrock albums were produced under his guidance). Black Savage also came to record at Sapra for their debut album, which was to be released by EMI.

‘Something for someone’ provides a refreshing look at Kenya’s musical landscape of the mid-seventies. Black Savage weren’t drawing their primary influence from rumba or benga but from psych and folk rock, funk and r&b. All songs were in English, and the lyrics were politically and socially aware, breathing the activist vibe of the international ‘summer of love’ generation. The band released three more singles. ‘Do you really care/Save the savage’ is two sides of semi-acoustic protest folk, ‘Grassland/Kothbiro’ embraces the group’s Kenyan identity through the music and language, and ‘Fire/Rita’ (released around 1982 on the short-lived Kenyan CBS label) sounds as if the group attempts to reinvent itself – as a reggae band.

Given the rarity of the original vinyl releases, the lack of airplay and the absence of biographic info on the band, one could conclude that Black Savage ended up all but forgotten. It’s reassuring that the musical paths of the band members didn’t end there, though. Job Seda (who changed his name to Ayub Ogada) and Jack Otieno (today known as Jack Odongo) joined the African Heritage Band. Job then became an actor (Out of Africa), joined the UK record label Real World and scored Hollywood soundtracks. Jack went on to produce numerous Kenyan bands throughout the 1980s and 90s, and is still active as a gospel musician. Gordon Ominde continued his studies but ultimately chose for a career as a musician, and his music took him to England and to Germany where he started a family; he died unexpectedly in 2000. Mbarak Achieng is credit for composing Black Savage’s Kothbiro, which Ayub Ogada re-recorded and which ended on the soundtrack of the Constant Gardener. The memory of Black Savage as Kenya’s most prolific rockers of the 1970s remains vivid in the hearts of thousands of Nairobians, and the current Afro7 reissue is a worthy first attempt at introducing their best work to an international audience.
 
      Wish List  
  Price: CHF 26.00   Add to Cart  
  Releases of the same artist  
  No items found ..  
  Releases of the same label  
   Faduma Kassim / Ahmed Sharief Yusuf, Majogo  
Faduma Kassim / Ahmed Sharief Yusuf
Majogo
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 11.00 Restocking!
 
  Amabano, Amsterdam Ticket  
Amabano
Amsterdam Ticket
[Afro 7]
TIP  
EUR 1xLP  Wish List
CHF 25.00 Add To Cart
 
  Black Devil’s Makali, You And Me  
Black Devil’s Makali
You And Me
[Afro 7]
TIP  
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 15.00 Add To Cart
 
  Loi Toki Tok, Chakacha  
Loi Toki Tok
Chakacha
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 13.00 Add To Cart
 
  L’Ochestre Kyaddondo Int. / Mwenge Jazz, Gkinumanze  
L’Ochestre Kyaddondo Int. / Mwenge Jazz
Gkinumanze
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 10.00 Restocking!
 
  Mac & Party, Harambe  
Mac & Party
Harambe
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 13.00 Add To Cart
 
  Mac & Party, Zandale  
Mac & Party
Zandale
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 15.00 Add To Cart
 
  Mombasa Roots, Mombasa Roots EP  
Mombasa Roots
Mombasa Roots EP
[Afro 7]
EUR 1xLP  Wish List
CHF 21.00 Add To Cart
 
  Niki Dave & Afro Kids, Shoreza Inyange  
Niki Dave & Afro Kids
Shoreza Inyange
[Afro 7]
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 15.00 Add To Cart
 
  The Cranes, What's Love  
The Cranes
What's Love
[Afro 7]
TIP  
EUR 7inch  Wish List
CHF 15.00 Add To Cart
 
  The Scorpios, The Scorpios  
The Scorpios
The Scorpios
[Afro 7]
EUR 1xLP  Wish List
CHF 23.00 Add To Cart
 
  V/A, Light & Sound Of Mogadishu  
V/A
Light & Sound Of Mogadishu
[Afro 7]
ESP 1xLP  Wish List
CHF 25.00 Restocking!
 
  Yaseen & Party, Yaseen & Party  
Yaseen & Party
Yaseen & Party
[Afro 7]
TIP  
EUR 1xLP  Wish List
CHF 25.00 Add To Cart
 
Black Moon
Rise Of Da Moon
[Duck Down Records]
Blockhead
Bubble Bath
[Future Archive]
Bufiman
Albumsi
[Dekmantel]
Byron The Aquarius
Astral Traveling
[Mutual Intentions ‎]
Czarface
The Odd Czar Against Us
[Silver Age]
Daniel Dimbas, La Diferencia
La Diferencia Edits
[Unknown]
Emapea
Seeds, Roots & Fruits
[Cold Busted]
Erick Cosaque
Chinal Ka 1973-1995
[Heavenly Sweetness]
Ethyos 440
Ediacara
[Editions Magnetiques]
Flee Lord And Eto
Rocamerikka
[Air Vinyl]
Francois N'Gwa
Ogooue
[Into The Deep]
Frank Hatchett
Body Shots
[Monte Cristo]
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Half Manne Half Cocaine
[Madlib Invazion]
I.A.O.
Phase 3
[Left Ear Records]
Inre Kretsen Grupp
Dorisk Ordning
[Fasaan Records]
J.Rocc
Funky President Edits Vol.7
[Beat Junkie Sound]
Jeff Majors
For Us All Yoka Boka
[Invisble City Editions]
Juicy The Emissary
Timber
[Street Corner Music]
Kamazu
Korobela
[Afrosynth]
Kinderzimmer Productions
Todesverachtung To Go
[Grönland]
L'Eclair
Sauropoda
[Bongo Joe]
Lalalar
İsyanlar
[Bongo Joe]
Lalalar
Mecnun'dan Beter Haldeyim
[Bongo Joe]
Land Of Light
The World Lies Breathing
[Melody As Truth]
LNDN DRGS (Jay Worthy & Sean House)
Affiliated
[GDF Records]
Mameen3
Kudreda
[Bongo Joe]
Mameen3
Spacecamel
[Bongo Joe]
Mark Seven
Parkwerks Volume 1
[Parkway]
Matthew Halsall
Colour Yes (Special Edition)
[Gondwana Records]
Matthew Halsall
Sending My Love
[Gondwana Records]
Meisterbeatz
Beatronaut
[Good Flight]
MNDSGN
Oblique Kitchn
[MNDSGN LIMITED]
Musica Esporadica
S/T
[Music From Memory]
Myth
Play With Me
[Athens Of The North]
Omar S
Another Man
[FXHE Records]
Omma
1905
[Antinote]
Oscar Weathers
We're Running out of Time
[Fantasy Love Records]
Rajan James
Impossible Dream
[Left Ear Records]
Retrogott & HulkHodn
Land Und Leute - Limited Edition
[ENTBS]
Sassy J
Patchwork
[Rush Hour]
Skyf Connection
Ten To Ten
[La Casa Tropical]
Skymax
High On Time
[International Major Label]
Stalley
Reflection Of Self: The Head Trip
[Nature Sounds]
Symptoms Of Love
Foam EP
[Planet Trip]
Tapes
Summer Jam
[Em Records]
Tassilo Vanhöfen
War Manual Of Gear E.P.
[Neubau]
Testiculo Y Uno (Twit One & Hulk Hodn)
Two
[Melting Pot]
The Mauskovic Dance Band & L'Eclair
Homo Sapiens
[Bongo Joe]
The Professionals
The Professionals
[Madlib Invazion]
Tom Of England
Sex Monk Blues
[L.I.E.S.]
TRIBEZ. X MANIAC
Paragon Collection 1
[Beat Art Department]
V/A
America Invertida
[Vampisoul]
V/A
Message In Our Music Vol.2
[Sol Discos]
V/A
Radio Verde
[Colorful World]
V/A
Super-Sonic Family
[Super-Sonic Jazz]
Various Artists
LÉVE LÉVE Sao Tomé & Principe sounds 70s-80s
[Bongo Joe]
Various Artists
Soul Sega Sa ! Indian Ocean Segas From 70s VOL.2
[Bongo Joe]
YĪN YĪN
The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers
[Bongo Joe]
Yvon (präsentiert von Carsten Erobique Meyer & Jacques Palminger
Yvon im Kreis Der Liebe
[A-musik]
Yvonne Archer
Ain't Nobody
[Isle Of Jura]
Zé Manel & 2M G-B
Tustumunhos Di Aonti...
[New Dawn]
  1. Black Moon
Rise Of Da Moon
 
  2. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Half Manne Half Cocaine
 
  3. Lexx
Cosmic Shift - Tape
 
  4. Ethyos 440
Ediacara
 
  5. Flee Lord And Eto
Rocamerikka
 
  6. Francois N'Gwa
Ogooue
 
  7. Gang Starr
One Of The Best Yet
 
  8. LNDN DRGS (Jay Worthy & Sean House)
Affiliated
 
  9. Retrogott & HulkHodn
Land Und Leute - Limited Edition
 
  10. Showbiz & Milano
Boulevard Author