GROUPE RTD

African Fusion • Djibouti
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Djibouti, the smallest country in mainland Africa, is sandwiched between Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and the Gulf of Aden. Since independence from France in 1977, it has been essentially a one-party state, with culture subordinated into political and bureaucratic structures.

Recently, reissue label Ostinato has been mining the archives of the national broadcaster, Radiodiffusion Télévision Djibouti, and has now recorded its house band, Groupe RTD. The label carefully credits all involved, from RTD’s former director-general to the Djibouti head of customs (who expedited the temporary import of a state-of-the-art recording desk) but the process of making the album was clearly pressured: three days in the studio, strictly no overruns.

The musicians gleefully hunkered down, disregarded the studio’s prohibition on smoking and chewing qat, and reproduced not their daytime repertoire as ceremonial musicians for state events, but their night-time set as a band combining the multiple strands of Djibouti’s musical mesh, from Arabic
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GROUPE RTD The Dancing Devils of Djibouti album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dancing Devils of Djibouti
African Fusion 2020

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