News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Where Is Matata?

By Robert Fox

Matt at the always informative blog Benn Loxo Du Taccu has unearthed some lost classics of African funk: Kenyan funk super-group Matata, who reigned in the early 1970s with afrobeat-inspired, pounding grooves. Matt reports that Matata were awarded "BBC’s Best Band in Africa in 1971 but unfortunately they faded away by the mid-70s," and asks "can someone fill us in?" They appear on the compilation "Africafunk," from Harmless Records. Check out the recording samples on Matt's site, and also the other many insights he offers.

The compilation features under-appreciated tracks from Fela Kuti, Peter King, Manu Dibango and Tony Allen. It also inspired a second volume, Africafunk: Return To The Original Sound of 1970s Funky Africa, also by Harmless Records.

Regular readers of this blog will definitely appreciate Matt's wisdom on the Benn Loxo Du Taccu blog. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.


  1. Matata has been put out on various Afrofunk compilations.In 1994 Preident records in the tho albums,Wild River and Feelin'Funky,which incidently also had a brass section,with Dudu Pukwana and Mongezi Feza.These two South African exiles from the Blue Notes,where also members of another almost unkwown Afro band that was made up of South African and Nigerian musicians.In 2002 Duncan Brooker brought out the Afro Rock Volume 1 on Kona Records where there i also a track featured from Steele Beauttah,percussonist with Matata whom did other solo projects before and after Matata.From the liner notes of Afro Rock Duncan Brooker thanks two former players of Matata,so they must still be around.Just in case one of you would look out for the Afro Rock album,note that it was later released by P-Vine with extra tracks,afact unfortunately passing me by. Keep it funky SkaBenga

  2. Sorry ,The other band was called Assagai

  3. Matata's music is really hard to find now...

    I did manage to find an album (compilation) of most of their titles on Emule, typing "Matata 1973" as search criteria.

    As their music is more than hard to buy I guess we have the right to download it :)

  4. I am working with one of the survivors of Matata and hope to put out a CD soon. In the meantime, we are looking for pictures and other items of interest from that band plus that era in London and in Kenya. Help would be appreciated. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Duncan Brooker - he was looking for some of the people.

    Thanks SJ