This program ventures into corners of Africa we hear from rarely, guided by adventurous field recordists and crate diggers. The Zomba Prison Project is a set of recordings by inmates at a maximum security prison in Malawi, currently the poorest nation on earth. The project’s debut CD was nominated for a Grammy Award. Here, we speak with the producer, Ian Brennan, and hear tracks from a new volume of soulful, even heartbreaking, songs from the prison. Then, we go back to the 1960s and ‘70s in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta) to sample a gorgeous set of newly revealed recordings by Volta Jazz, Dafra Star, Les Imbattables Leopards and more. We hear from Florent Mazzoleni, the author and intrepid vinyl collector behind the new box set, Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta.
Originally aired 2016.