NDIO SASA are a truly international performing group based in Nairobi, Kenya, comprising members and instrumentation from Kenya, the United States and Japan. NDIO SASA blends Japanese folk melodies, American clawhammer style banjo, African percussion and rock/metal influences to create a unique and exciting sound.
Banjo player Colin Crowley, vocalist (?) Pete Larson and percussionist Masa Ikuno would get together on Friday nights, taking the two available hours between work and childrens' bedtime to write and record a song for a friends' radio show. Results varied, but soon they had a body of songs ready for a band of some kind. Playing and recording songs between visits from curious kids was a challenge. "Practices" would devolve into lively hangout sessions and not much would get done, but eventually someone had the bright idea to form a band (as the "band" wasn't even aware that they were a "band," i.e. a group of people with songs playing music regularly.) It was a revelation.
Soon, It became (sadly) known that Ikuno was leaving Kenya to return to Japan so we decided to record what we had at the time. the recording, we enlisted one of the best percussionists that Africa has to offer, Kaboge Chagala, and went to places we never expected.
This album represents the best of those sessions. With the exception of "Samurai Cowboy" all of the songs are adapted from Japanese folk songs, the brunt of which are in minor pentatonics played in 4/4, similar to that of Western rock music. It wasn't difficult to create rock songs out of them. The addition of the banjo and African percussion added an distinctly African element to the mix. We eschewed a standard drum kit, guitar and bass lineup and were the better for it. These age old acoustic instruments were designed long before amplification and audio recording were ever thought of and do just fine on their own.The result was a cool mix on sounds the likes of which haven't been heard before.
Since then, the lineup has expanded and the sound changed with the addition of Tomo Tsukahara on percussion and Reuben Besa on the electric bass, but this is where we came from and these sessions were incredibly special to us. We hope you enjoy it and please look forward to new music from NDIO SASA in the near future.
1. On a beach
2. World Turns Apart
3. Center of the World
4. Samurai Cowboy
5. Mogoka Bushi
released June 28, 2017
Pete Larson - Shamisen, Guitar, Vocals
Colin Crowley - Banjo
Kaboge Chagala - Percussion
Masa Ikuno - Percussion
Dave Sharp - Bass (on selected tracks)
Engineered by Ayrosh Collo
Recorded in November, 2016 at ADA Creative Studios in Nairobi, Kenya
Cover art by Movenpicks Arts in Dagoretti, Nairobi, Kenya
Special thanks to Matthew Swallow,
all rights reserved