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Dur-Dur Band

Dance band from Mogadishu, Somalia

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Dur-Dur Band

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Dur-Dur Band, a group from Mogadishu that fused traditional Somali melodies with dance rhythms, American funk and soul, Jamaican reggae, and more. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article by Megan Iacobini de Fazio on Bandcamp Daily.


"Yabaal" by Dur-Dur Band
1986 | Dance band from Mogadishu, Somalia

Go deeper.
In the 1970s and ’80s in Mogadishu, the airwaves were filled with funk, soul, reggae, and disco. Every night, Somali musicians rocking Afros, sequined jackets, and bell-bottom trousers performed traditional love songs with Afrobeat rhythms and deep funk grooves, filling both club dancefloors and beachfront hotels.

Artistic innovation flourished despite the presence of an oppressive regime: in 1969, General Mohamed Siad Barre led a bloodless coup and instituted a socialist government that promoted education and the arts, but maintained a tight grip on the results of that creativity. Undeterred, locals began creating masterworks that led to an artistic explosion in Somalia. Of all the art coming from the country at the time, Dur-Dur Band was perhaps its greatest export.

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The band’s first two albums—released in 1986 and 1987 respectively, and reissued now via Analog Africa—capture the exuberance of Dur-Dur’s music, giving us a glimpse into the sounds of Mogadishu in the 1980s. “Yabaal,” their first single, is carried by a deep funk groove and punctuated by infectious horn stabs, before it’s lifted even further by singer Sahra Dawo’s riveting vocals.

Somalia