Selection from the archives of Radio-Télévision de Djibouti

This is my third post featuring recordings from the archives of Radio Djibouti (you can find the first two here and here).  Although this set of songs is my favorite of the three, I have waited months to share these tracks.  I wanted to learn more, anything, about the artists before featuring this compilation.  I tried, failed, and have given up.  This selection features four artists, Ismail Aiman, Ibrahim Djama, Hassan Ahmed, and Halimo Abdo.  All of these recordings were made in the studios of Radio Djibouti, most probably in the late 1970s.  All of the songs are in Somali.  

Place Menelik, Djibouti

The set includes a diversity of orchestral arrangements, saxophone/oud/percussion, oud/flute/percussion, our/farfisa organ/percussion, and oud/violin/percussion.  The first eight tracks are studio recordings, the final track was recorded live in front of an audience.  All of the transfers were made direct from the original Radio Djibouti reels.  (The technician making the transfers was a little distracted, one track has some interference, and a few of the tracks have very brief wobbles.)  The music and fidelity are uniformly good.  

If you enjoy these recordings, I highly recommend this new release.  This is the kind of project that I always approach with skepticism, suspecting the story to be more interesting than the music.  The Dancing Devils of Djibouti is vital new music.  Thank you Ostinato records for all your efforts.  

If you can tell us anything about the artists on this compilation please share.  Sanaag, can you help?!





  1. I guess technician was pretty distracted, at times there are brief moments it sounds like back masking! Thanks for this great post.

  2. Hello Matthew, I’m not familiar with any of the artists but a quick search (with their names written in Somali) delivers a number of songs by Ismail Aiman, icluding this duet with Halimo Abdo: . According to the commenters, it’s from early 70s and both artists have passed away.

  3. Love this, thanks for sharing.


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