domingo, 17 de enero de 2010

reggae africa. african reggae. regaae africano. album.

Reggae Africa (EMI, 1993)

Although the continent of Africa is not traditionally seen as a source for reggae music, it has produced two of the most popular reggae artists of our time in Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy. So it would make sense that there are plenty of other performers in that vast land with similarly intoxicating styles, but nevertheless, African reggae artists get relatively little exposure in the U.S. (African "world music" is probably more accessible, with artists like Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.) Reggae Africa is thus a welcome release, a dazzling showcase of the continent's reggae artists that provides just a small taste of why they deserve more international exposure. The most familiar name (and for many, the only familiar name) on this collection is Alpha Blondy, who contributes the strong "Veto de Dieu." Some listeners may have heard of Harley & The Rasta Family, who add two nice tunes, "Sweet Reggae Music" and "Lion in a Sheep Skin," with its electrifying chorus of voices. The first half of this album is the strongest, with the first 6 tracks being the best on the album, but the remainder hold their own as well. Tangara Speed Ghoda's two tracks stand out in particular because he puts forth the most style: an intriguing mix of jazz (trumpet, sax, bass) and reggae. The sound of African reggae as displayed on Reggae Africa is distinctly airy live-band roots with African drums and the exotic foreign language element. What perhaps distinguishes the vocals even more than the language, however, is the sheer emotion conveyed; be it happiness, sadness, anger, or love, it is always haunting and unforgettable.

Track Listing
1. Lion in a Sheep Skin -- Harley & The Rasta Family
2. Amagni -- Koko Dembele
3. Show Biz Ti Requin -- Tangara Speed Ghoda
4. Veto de Dieu -- Alpha Blondy
5. Nothing But Prayer -- Senzo
6. C'Est Pas Da Ni Blo -- Serges Kassy
7. Wondogbo -- Lystrone Kouame
8. Unlucky Man -- Ice T. Cool
9. Sweet Reggae Music -- Harley & The Rasta Family
10. Politic Warrior -- P.I. Ray
11. Elle -- Solo Jah Gunt
12. Lord Say -- Tangara Speed Ghoda
13. N'Ka Yere -- Koko Dembele
14. Children of Africa -- Ismael Isaac Et Les Freres Keita

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