Dur-Dur Band

The Berlin Sessions

Outhere • 2023

This album features the highly unique mixture of East African styles, Arabic music, Western pop songs and Bollywood sounds that was played in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in the 1980s until a civil war plunged the country, now considered a »failed state«, into chaos in the early 1990s. The Dur-Dur Band was one of the most popular bands in Mogadishu in the 1980s, performing in hotel clubs and neighbouring countries. The flourishing nightlife, about which the music on this album also conveys a seductive sense, ended with the civil war. The musicians fled in all directions, with quite a few ending up in London, where they have been making music together again for a few years. Almost exactly ten years ago, the label Awesome Tapes From Africa released the tape »Volume 5« on vinyl and in doing brought the music of Somalia to a new audience. Hamburg musician and DJ Nicolas Sheikholeslami also succumbed to a fascination for this music. It was also he who organised a concert for the band in Berlin in 2019. »The Berlin Sessions«, the first studio album by a Somali band in a good 30 years, was created during the rehearsals for this. The magic of this music, alien to western ears, still works today, even if time has not failed to leave its mark on the voice of Xabiib Sharaabi, one of the three singers on the album.