29/01/2008

African Rebel Music: Roots, Reggae and Dancehall (2006)

«Presenting hits from 10 countries African Rebel Music – Roots reggae and dancehall gives a first insight into the new reggae dancehall movement in Africa (24 page booklet). So far only two reggae artist have had real international success: Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy. A new generation has long arrived but although many of them are stars at home and regulars in their local charts, this compilation is the first chance for most of them to release their music internationally. The East African Reggae Bashment Crew is a cooperation of two famous line-ups from East Africa: the duo Necessary Noize from Kenya and Bebe Cool from Uganda. They were nominated for one of the most important African music awards the Kora Awards in South Africa end of 2005 in the category Best African Reggae Group. Another highlight is Tiken Jah Fakoly from Ivory Coast who is no doubt the next reggae star to emerge from Africa. In 2005 he became the most successful reggae artist in France. The 994 Crew recorded the first dancehall track ever from Mauretania. […] Ethiopia pitches in the song ‘Shashamane on my mind’ in which Sydney Salmon praises a piece of land that was once given to the Africans in the Diaspora by Haile Selassie as a place for repatriation. Batman is one of the most popular dancehall artists from Ghana adding the newest style of music now rocking the nightclubs of Accra: raglife. Musicians like Dully Sykes, H2O, The Danfo Drivers, Peter Miles, Teba or Rebellion are the heroes of a new generation of African pop music, that has long surpassed the usual world music stars still being celebrated in Europe. The language is reggae and dancehall. The sound and lyrics of their music represent the feeling of an urban Africa in the 21st century.» (Out Here Records)

«African reggae has always been a hit-or-miss affair. While there have long been reggae artists working the local music scenes of South Africa, Mauritania, and Uganda, the continent has produced only two real international stars: Alpha Blondy (from Ivory Coast) and, even bigger, Lucky Dube (from South Africa). This compilation of tracks presents a wide variety of artists from such disparate locales as Mauritania, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, and it raises hopes for the future of African reggae while still revealing a pretty uneven musical landscape. On the evidence here, it appears that the most exciting developments are taking place in Nigeria: there's a subtle complexity to Mad Melon and Mt. Black's "Sinsemilia" that you wouldn't necessarily expect from a song by that title, and Bantu brings a nice hip-hop flavor to "One Vive One Flow, Pt. 2." In fact, there's quite a bit of hip-hop-reggae fusion going on here, as well as some fine Afrobeat/dancehall (courtesy of Peter Miles and Leo Muntu). There's also the odd sprinkling of political banality (Alif's "Wooyo") and musical banality (H2O's "African"), but overall this is an exciting and encouraging compilation. Recommended.» (AMG)

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10 comments:

Jack said...

I love Tiken Jah Fakoly! He's definitely the real deal.

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Wow men, African music like reggae roots and dancehall is the cream of the crop.
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