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Saturday, Feb 18 2017 | 07:06
Image: 1608863 Luaka Bop present the wildly beautiful new album Build Music from Janka Nabay.

1. Kadiatu
2. Build Music
3. Santa Monica
4. Popeneh
5. Bubu Dub
6. Angbolieh
7. Game Ova
8. Sabanoh (Interlude)
9. Sabanoh 2017
10. Stop Jealous
11. Tek Lak la Gben ba Kun
12. Combinatio

“All I am about is making history,”
says Janka Nabay. After a string of cassette releases, Nabay became
a star of electronic bubu music back home in Sierra Leone.
But he was soon forced to escape his homeland’s explosive civil
war in the 1990s. Over the years, Nabay gradually rebuilt
his musical life in the United States while supporting
himself working at hotels and fried chicken restaurants.
Nabay’s bubu music may sound futuristic, but its existence spans centuries. The original bubu is
cloaked in mythology: as legend has it, a young “bubu boy” took the music from witches 500 years
ago, brought it to the public at large, and sacrifced his own life in the process. Over time, bubu
evolved into a music played collectively on percussive instruments and bamboo horns. Upon the
arrival of Islam in Sierra Leone, the hypnotic sound of bubu music was adapted for processionals
during Ramadan. As Janka says: “Bubu is an old, old music, but people don’t know about it. You
can add new things into the beat if you know it really well, and make your own sound out of it.”

J a n k a N a b a y. c o m L u a k a B o p . c o m

“...thanks to technology, imagination and the forces of
globalization, the Bubu sound is working its mysterious,
mesmerizing magic on the world. This is one way
old traditions survive: in the hands of single-minded
visionaries. -NPR All Things Considered
Nabay’s weathered but agile voice is the kind of
instrument that would likely sound at home
on a sparse feld recording... (but with the
band) the music sounds so intensely modern
it’s practically futuristic. -Pitchfork Available from 24.03.2017
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