Luaka Bop: Twenty First Century Twenty First Year

by Luaka Bop

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Fuzzy Freaky 02:47
Keleya 06:39
Sexy 03:24
Rio Longe 03:24
Valentin 05:17
Sweet Melody 03:35
Baby 03:38


"I was making cassettes for friends of the favorite cuts of some Brazilian records I'd recently bought. A lot of work and love went into scouring record stores, picking select tracks and making cool sequences...and at the same time, Talking Heads had a clause in their contract that allowed us to put out records under a label, originally called Fly. So, why not? The name was eventually changed to protect the innocent, but once I saw how much fun and satisfying it could be, I was hooked... I became the mogul of the label you can't pronounce. I was pictured in a cartoon at the time in a pith helmet stalking the jungle for new sounds and running into fellow ethno-musicologist Paul Simon. More like a contemporary DJ looking for undiscovered sounds than Livingston, I presume.

I believe the artists on Luaka Bop are completely in touch with exactly what is happening in the world today. The world is gloriously impure, and yet each of their mixtures has its own strong flavor and sense of itself as unique. There is no danger, from our folks, of an impending global mush, of a cultural watering down.

All the artists will all do what they do, not trying to pander, but occasionally a song or record will appeal to more than just their fans. This has been my own experience, so I naturally assume, and hope that it will happen to like minded others as well."

Now 21 years and many distribution deals later the indie music world has moved more towards what Luaka Bop does. So what a great time in the early part of the 21st Century to celebrate the 21 years of this label. This compilation starts with the first track on our first album, Unbabrumma by Jorge Ben, and continues through some of our biggest hits and misses with tracks from Shuggie Otis, Zap Mama, Geggy Tah, Susana Baca, Los Amigos Invisibles, Moreno Veloso + 2, new artists like Marcio Local, and of course our founder, David Byrne.


released May 26, 2009


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Luaka Bop New York, New York

Luaka Bop is a record label established by David Byrne in 1989.

Luaka Bop has released compilations as full-length albums, EPs, cassettes, and singles from individual artists like William Onyeabor, Floating Points, Doug Hream Blunt, Tim Maia, and Os Mutantes. ... more

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