Luaka Bop is 21.

Luaka Bop is 21.

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 1. Jorge Ben – Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)
2. Shuggie Otis – Aht Uh Mi Hed
3. David Byrne – Fuzzy Freaky
4. Marcio Local* – Samba Sem Nenhum Problema
5. Moussa Doumbia – Keleya
6. Los Amigos Invisibles – Sexy
7. Moreno + 2 – Rio Longe
 8. Irakere – Bacalao Con Pan
9. Susana Baca – Valentin
10. Zap Mama – Sweet Melody
11. Tom Zé – Defeito 2: Curiosidade
12. Geggy Tah – Whoever You Are
13. Jim White – Static On The Radio
14. Os Mutantes – Baby

What is a Luaka Bop? David Byrne started Luaka Bop in 1988. He had this to say about the labels beginnings:

By David Byrne

“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.