Sudanese music story from Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo)


Musician Fritz Catlin of the great band 23 Skidoo reached out the other day to share these tapes and this story:

“I was in a hotel lobby in Cairo in 1983, chatting about music,
I said I played in a band, “what instrument?” I was asked, ‘drums’ I replied…”oh, everyone plays the drums” I was told and renditions of different towns special local rhythms were given by those present.
  I had a little boogie box and played my latest recording “Coup” by 23 Skidoo, by chance the tape it was on had Sudanese track afterwards that I had copied from someones vinyl on my travels.
    A Sudani who was present said that the music was what his parents would listen to and insisted on giving me 5 or 6 cassettes of more up to date sounds.
Over time it became some of my absolute favourite music, the camel ride lope of the percussion was a particular part of it’s appeal but I also came to love the intensity of the vocals.”

Music video experiment

The mission of this blog is to build an international audience for Sudanese music. How to do this? At first I focused on simply making the music available to people who don’t speak Arabic by translating artist’s names and uploading their music to

Then I started uploading music to YouTube. Then I started to organize the MP3s into “bootleg tapes” accompanied by “cover art.” I theorized that people in America and Europe were more accustomed to listening to music as ‘albums” and that creating that experience would draw more first-time listeners.

Now I’ve started to experiment with creating music videos. Will this draw more first-time listeners to Sudanese music? Maybe not, but they are fun music videos to create!

Here’s my first attempt: