"Dagoretti" is the confluence of three large pathways in Nairobi connecting all of Kenya together. It is also the Swahilified pronunciation of "The great." We like to think that we put out great records that connect distant places together.
Dagoretti Records was founded in 2016, when founder Dr. Pete Larson was living in Nairobi, Kenya, doing research in his day job as an epidemiologist. Before that field of study had taken over the majority of his time, Larson had been head of the well-regarded underground label BULB Records (known for being an early home to such now-luminaries as Wolf Eyes, Mr. Quintron and Ms. Pussycat, and Andrew W.K., among others), and played himself in such smash-and-grab units as 25 Suaves, Couch, Danse Asshole, and a number of others. By the time he'd moved to Nairobi, though, those days seemed to be more or less in the rearview.
Then, something funny happened: bored in his off-hours in Nairobi, Larson started making music himself again. Venturing out into Nairobi's nightlife rekindled his taste for the joys of live music. He learned a new instrument, the nyatiti, from master player Oduor Nyagweno
, and eventually made it his primary vector.
Finding collaborators and friends both in Nairobi and Osaka, Japan (an old haunt, which he visited frequently while living in Nairobi), Larson started Dagoretti Records to document the varied, thrilling sounds he encountered.
A move back to Ann Arbor, Michigan — where, incidentally, BULB had been founded in the early 1990s — didn't slow down the label's activities one bit, and in fact, created new opportunities to take the label more into the realm of physical media. Forming new musical partnerships and rekindling old ones in Michigan, Larson and Dagoretti Records further expanded both their sound and reach.
Though admittedly slowed by the limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dagoretti Records charges ahead. There are a litany of exciting plans on the horizon, which we can't wait to share with you.