Best of Kiambogo Tapes

I recently shared this wonderful link to an Instructable hack via Facebook, aptly titled “Cassette Tape Business Card Holder” – which prompted another German-Kenyan friend of mine to share her beloved Kamaru (.KE), Florence Wangari (.KE) and Amity Meria (.BF) tapes with me – so that I would turn them into cool business card holders.

Prior to the introduction of mp3 in the early 1990s, I considered my tape/cassette collection large. But most of these were just copies and/or recordings from the radio (that’s what we did back in the days). So I lacked cool covers. Lea, the friend with the cool tapes, obviously doesn’t like Florence Wangari’s Gospel and knew she’d be in for a cool mod:

“Start with a cool tape, like these.  And no, don’t be horrified that this “museum piece” Apple data tape is being destroyed–no one ever saw it when it sat in a drawer!”

..writes the creator of this instructable. And there’s one more thing I’d like to add: the best covers for this mod are those made out of softer plastic. I am not really sure about the materials used on these cassettes, but I guess it’s PE for the softer and PP for the (cheaper) transparent ones. Anyways, if you’re planing to do this, try what works best for you. And make sure your business card will fit! My current one is from and doesn’t fit as good as the white one of my Indian flat mate:

The tapes are well preserved, btw! @Lea: you’ll find them included in the envelope :-)

Just where would I be without my Leatherman?

N.B.: the ruler on the backside = reason why I love You won’t keep the business card of some regular dude in your pocket. But when it comes with a cm/in ruler, a simple piece of paper may have some added value.

“Kikuyu Folks Songs” – how epic is that?

Adults only!

Bhoom Bhoom Africa

Long time readers of this blog may know that I have always been wondering why we’ve seen bands like “Matata” (with the then awesome Steele Beauttah) coming to success in East Africa during the 1970s – closely followed by a vacuum in the 1980s and early 90s that was only dominated by a) Congolese Soukous (Franco & Co), b) local Gospel, c) local tribal music and d) international Pop music (Michael Jackson & Co.).

At first, I tried to explain this seemingly sudden disappearance with the political situation(s) back then, but I guess it’s just an international thing as the music also changed in many other parts of the world.

Anyhow, it is against this background that I am always filled with great joy when I stumble upon really cool modern music videos (yes, videos – the visual age of YouTube, our beloved pop archive) – created in Africa, showing the world that Nairobi, Lagos or Luanda aren’t that much different from the rest of the world.

Heavy Metal band Ree-burth from Soweto South Africa

(see also this post on

shot in the area of Sambizanga in Luanda, Angola with MC Sacerdote and his artist crew

Breakdance Project Uganda
(too tight!)

Anto & Paragasha – QWERTY LOVE (filmed in Nbo)

The Very Best – Yoshua Alikuti (also filmed in Nbo)

(which is a play on the clip for Lil Wayne’s “A Milli”)

Ma Bhoom Bhoom Bhoom
One of those vids from the BLNRB project

Liz Ogumbo “Maro pa more”
(filmed in Olepolos / Corner Baridi and in Nbo)

Muthoni “Mikono Kwenye Hewa”
(yup, a bit older, but reposted here because when her album went live on many month ago, I instantly bought it.)

…and then there’s (still) this:

Matasia Star “Life History”
(Ndombolo cruelty mix for those who still live in the 1990s)

(ati, the producer is some guy from Ujerumani? ;-)

Six years and still no Top10 list

Customer: Do you have Soul?
Rob: That all depends.

This private blog is online since six years now and during this time I have covered a lot of topics that touched me one way or the other. Love, music, politics, environment, computer….yes, I even wrote about cars the other day.

And yet there’s still one blog post that’s been idling in my drafts folder since early March 2008 and will probably never be published unless I just start writing about it:

My Top 10 list of music videos

I’ve never published it for various reasons. One certainly being that such a list will have to change over time, so to define such a list for good is almost impossible. It’s not like the above mentioned list of Top 10 cars which only includes classics. No, a list of most-loved music videos is a temporary love affair that becomes diluted by the constant penetration with new music videos.

I tried this the other day with a list of Top 10 favorite songs. I went through my music library, copied all relevant mp3 files in an empty folder, uploaded them, listened to my selection and realized I got it all wrong:

[edit: content removed]

TOP10 lists suck. Why? Because in the end you’ll realize that a selection almost isn’t possible and that if anything at all, it will just define the moment or a certain period.

It’s not the list that matters, but the selection process while searching and deciding which songs are eligible for such a list. And in the end you’ll just compile it for your own satisfaction and desire to have a Top10 list somewhere out there – on the internet or burned to a CD in your shelf.

St.Louis Spéciale

“Documentary about Orchestra Baobab that was made for their comeback album, 2002’s “Specialist in all styles”. It documents Baobab’s story, music and band members.”

L’Orchestre Baobab may not be my favourite band, but these documentaries are just fine. Abdoulaye, Mischel – Nan nga def?


Manheru Changamire

Music is my life, even though I dislike live concerts for various reasons (~ too many ppl, music out of tune, etc.).  Just a few years ago, I converted my entire collection of audio CDs into mp3 and kept them on an external hard disk – but about 2 years ago, I stopped downloading (legal) music because I figured that if I already *own* them, I’d also need to listen to them.  This is also why I’ve switched to online compilations / remixes. As a music lover, the rule of thumb shd  be: 1 album / month. Otherwise it’s too much information. Similar to eating too many sweets.

Unless of course we are talking about music from the continent, which is always welcome. I rejoice when I see the number of (really good) music blogs focussing on this very subject, and there’s nothing much I can add other than consuming various unearthed tracks with a huge appetite – and occasionally falling in love with a track. Like this one:

Manheru Chagamire” by (the) Hallelujah Chicken Run Band.

Chicken Run Band! Hallelujah!!  !!1!11!

To my ears, this track and it’s flow is pure gold. Am waiting for the creative moment when someone turns this into a remix that emphasises the beat and singing by Thomas Mapfumo.