Uncovering Swinging Mogadishu

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In 2016, the Ostinato Records team traveled across the Horn of Africa to compile an album of Somali music from the 1970’s & ’80’s. The result was the critically-acclaimed “Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa,” released worldwide on August 25, 2017 on double vinyl, CD, and digital. Under the guidance of Osiris Studio, Ostinato digitized a large portion of a 10,000 cassette tape archive of songs from before the war, when Mogadishu and Somalia were a music mecca, filled with some of the funkiest bands and the most incredible singers. Songs ultimately selected for the album were restored and mastered by Michael Graves.  This project took the Ostinato team to Hargeisa, Djibouti, and Mogadishu, and across the Somali diaspora scattered in all corners of the world.

" 'These recordings carry the trauma of Somalia. They have been remastered without abandoning the sweetness in their brokenness'. The result is near miraculous in its quality." - The Wall Street Journal
Members of Somali band, Waaberi, take to the stage in 1970s Mogadishu

Members of Somali band, Waaberi, take to the stage in 1970s Mogadishu

"This extraordinary set, compiled largely from cassettes that had been hidden away for decades, is a reminder of “swinging Somalia” in the 1970s and 80s, before the country was torn apart by civil war." - The Guardian
"This music comes to us thanks to the bravery, defiance and years of work from many dedicated people. It also sounds divine." - Stamp the Wax UK
"An absolute gem of archival diligence. Grade A." - The Vinyl District
"Perhaps the most beautiful music in the world, finally rediscovered." - Radio Nova Paris
"A mega mixtape of Somali classics" - BBC
"Somalia has an almost endless abundance of funky music for you." - THUMP Germany