Maybe the first-ever collection of the work of this important group from Djibouti – a huge state-financed ensemble whose performances were captured on tape for radio, but never issued as regular commercial albums at the time! 4 Mars take their name from a key moment of independence in the young nation – and they're a very powerful force on these recordings from the 80s and early 90s – bringing together a huge amount of current concepts from the East African scene, all within a very large, shifting array of singers, percussionists, and horn players too! At times, the rhythms almost seem to echo Jamaican music, but there's also currents of Ethiopian and Sudanese styles too – no surprise, given the crossroads of Djibouti, which maybe makes the group as welcoming to outside styles as they are importantly representing their nation's culture. As with other sets on the Ostinato
label, the package is an essential look at sounds we never would have heard otherwise – rescued from the tape archive of the national radio station, and presented here with very detailed notes on the music and culture at the time. Titles include "Abaal", "Inkaar Waalid", "Lama Rabeen Karo", "Daroor", "Hobalayeey Nabadu", "Natesha", "Maalkii Runta Ahaa Anigaa Ka Roooree", and "Tilman Baa Lagu Socodaa".