Spare Dog Records is a Bristol based record label which releases and promotes music from Malawi, a small country in Central Southern Africa. We work with our sister project out in Malawi, Moto Wambili Studios, to record a range of original contemporary music from talented artists, in a place where professional recording studios are scarce.
Lonjezo (Chichewa language, meaning ‘Promise’) is a brand new single from Malawi soul giant Danny Kalima, in a kind of chill local pop music style, with a great tropical vibe. Listen to the song right here, click on the cover image to download the track, or better still – go to our shop and pay some money for it, if you want to support the music!
This song was recorded in Lilongwe by DJ Sley – we’re expecting a music video to show up very soon. ENJOY!
Gasper Nali’s second album, Zoona Malawi (roughly translates to ‘It’s true, Malawi’), is a return to simplicity. While his debut album had a band arrangement of instruments, this time it’s only Gasper.
Recorded on a beach in his hometown of Nkhata Bay, only meters from Lake Malawi, Gasper plays six songs from beginning to end – and that’s it. No additional instruments, no overdubs. Just Gasper’s voice, his huge Babatoni bass guitar and his cow skin kick drum. And that characteristic droning rhythm and hypnotic melodies. And if you listen carefully, the faint sound of the surf in the background. It took three tries to get the recording happening, due to the frequent power cuts in the area and some sporadic end-of-rain-season rain.
Zoona Malawi is released on Nov 2nd, 2018, by Spare Dog Records (UK) together with Mississippi Records (US) and Sing A Song Fighter (SWE) on vinyl and digital.
Pronunciation: The oo in ‘Zoona’ sounds like in ‘More’ or ‘For’ – not like in Zoom.
Utrecht, NL – Sofar Sounds
Amsterdam, NL – Over Het IJ Festival
Lichtenvoorde, NL – Zwarte Cross Festival
Nijmegen, NL – Valkhof Festival
Stockholm/Ekerö – Rosenhill
Oslo, NO – Kafé Hærverk
Brådal, SWE – Algotfestivalen
Malmö, SWE – Malmö Sommarscen
Charlton Park, UK – WOMAD UK Festival
Kendal, UK – Kendal Calling Festival
Bristol, UK – The Canteen
Hampshire, UK – BoomTown Fair
Hampshire, UK – BoomTown Fair
Swansea, UK – The Welfare
Cornwall, UK – Mt Pleasant Eco Park
London, UK – Campfire Club
London, UK – Africa Centre
Margate, UK – Tom Thumb Theatre
Northants, UK – Shambala Festival
Northants, UK – Greenbelt Festival
Maidstone, UK – Shemomedjamo Festival
Check this tiny compilation video out and you’ll see what we mean:
There’s a slightly longer version of the video here if your really into it!
And last but not least: If you’ve got a chance, make sure to catch Gasper playing at any of the following dates!
11/07 Utrecht, NL – Sofar Sounds
14/07 Amsterdam, NL – Over Het IJ Festival
15/07 Lichtenvoorde, NL – Zwarte Cross Festival
15/07 Nijmegen, NL – Valkhof Festival
18/07 Stockholm/Ekerö – Rosenhill
19/07 Oslo, NO – Kafé Hærverk
20/07 Brådal, SWE – Algotfestivalen
21/07 Malmö, SWE – Malmö Sommarscen
27/07 Charlton Park, UK – WOMAD UK Festival
28/07 Kendal, UK – Kendal Calling Festival
07/08 Bristol, UK – The Canteen
08/08 Hampshire, UK – BoomTown Fair
09/08 Hampshire, UK – BoomTown Fair
10/08 Swansea, UK – The Welfare
16/08 Cornwall, UK – Mt Pleasant Eco Park
17/08 London, UK – Campfire Club
18/08 Margate, UK – Tom Thumb Theatre
24/08 Northants, UK – Shambala Festival
25/08 Northants, UK – Greenbelt Festival
26/08 Kent, UK – Shemomedjamo Festival
The tour dates (so far) are here! Netherlands, Scandinavia & the UK – from 11th July to 26th August. Including WOMAD, Zwarte Cross, Malmö Sommarscen, Shambala, BoomTown and many many more. Check out the poster below:
Chulu Cha Nchele – from debut album Live or Die Story. Available on CD from Bandcamp or through all your mainstream favourite streaming or digital platforms.
Adrian Kwelepeta, is an incredible talented young Malawian artist. Moving seamlessly between contemporary R&B, Folk and the traditional, his song-writing already shows substantial depth and maturity. Chulu Cha Nchele is a powerful and moving tale of life sung both in English and Chichewa.
You wouldn’t know it but Spare Dog Records have been away for 6 weeks in Malawi, working on a bunch of new material – and we’ll have a lot of videos coming up shortly to prove it! We’ve for example recorded new music with roots accordion legend Overton Longwe, finished the Tonga Heritage album sessions and made a new stripped down recording with Gasper Nali on the shore of Lake Malawi – without any add-ons of any kind. (These three recordings plus new works by Danny Kalima and Michael Mountain make 5 exciting albums to be released in the near future!)
In the mean while, please enjoy the annual Malawian record producer hair shaving event!
The Gasper Nali 2018 tour is shaping up! Here he is amongst the first acts to be announced for this year’s WOMAD UK festival – we think that’s a BIG deal! Here’s the blurb:
GASPER NALI is playing at @WOMADFestival alongside the great Amadou & Mariam, Django Django, Camille and many more amazing acts. Join us at #TheWorldsFestival this July and experience the world in a weekend. Don’t miss out on over 200 free workshops, talks, physics, the WOMAD spa, fabulous food from all over the world and amazing music! Find tickets, full line-up and info on the WOMAD website. #WOMAD2018