While searching for field recordings of early African music, I stumbled across The World’s Jukebox. Not only is this blog an incredible resource for all types of vintage world music, but it seems to be the only place to find the out-of-print volumes of the Alan Lomax curated series The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music. Given my interest, I snagged the two volumes of this series that cover Africa, namely Volume II: French Africa and Volume X: British East Africa.
As you’ll find by following those links, TWJ posted these two albums as continuous tracks, with one mp3 for each side of the original vinyl. I’ve broken these two albums down into their individual tracks and relabeled them, with the name of the tribe and/or region as the “artist,” and made them available for download below. TWJ has scanned and uploaded the liner notes for each album if you desire further reading material. Enjoy! [Links are dead. Request for re-upload or check comments for more recent uploads.]
The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Volume II: French Africa
The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Volume X: British East Africa
N.B. Both of these albums are out of print, and only exist on vinyl, despite the re-release of several titles from this series on compact disc between 1998 and 2002 by Rounder. Rounder seems to have committed an act of erasure, as Vol. II in the Rounder series focuses on Ireland, and the only volume in this edition to feature non-European music is the volume covering India. Discuss. (If you still foster any scruples about my uploading of these files, keep in mind that the artists recorded likely received no form of recompense at any time.)