Various Artists: The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival (Rough Guide)

 |   |  <1 min read

Seprewa Kasa: Adowa
Various Artists: The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival (Rough Guide)

Of the dozen tracks on this useful collection, at least three bands -- Staff Benda Bilili, Bedouin Jerry Can Band and Konono No 1 -- should be reasonably familiar to Elsewhere readers.

So attention alights elsewhere: On the seven-piece Mbira Dzenharira which plays tuned mbira (and sound like an African gamelan); the ngoni playng of Bassekou Kouyate (bluesy, yearning); the strange sound of Seprewa Kasa (using seprewa, a chordophone, the sound and use of which anticipated upbeat highlife); the weird implosion of traditional and contemporary instruments on the flat tack Dunia Watu by Jagwa Music . . .

This is all quite head-turning and some of these tracks might just as well have slotted into any collection of African psychedelic music.

As with many of these Rough Guide collections, this comes with a bonus disc, an album by the Kenyan group Kenge Kenge who mix up handmade traditional instruments with electric guitars and horns for a somewhat surreal sound which seems designed to keep you guessing as much as dancing along.

Good stuff, even if you have a clue . . .

Like the sound of this? Then check out this and this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Manu Dibango: Afro-Soul Machine (Metro Select)

Manu Dibango: Afro-Soul Machine (Metro Select)

In the rush to embrace new artists out of various parts of Africa or distill the history down to reissues of little known acts and the cult of Fela, it probably isn't a surprise the great Manu... > Read more

Ali Farka Toure: Savane (World Circuit/Elite)

Ali Farka Toure: Savane (World Circuit/Elite)

The late Toure was one of the greatest singer-songwriters to emerge out of the musically fertile region around Mali in the last century. The area -- from which numerous slaves were taken to the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

John Martyn: Solid Air (1973)

John Martyn: Solid Air (1973)

When the great British singer-songwriter John Martyn died in January 2009 there was initially very little media coverage -- and then people realised the significance of this innovative and creative... > Read more

Various artists: Bossa Jazz (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various artists: Bossa Jazz (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

The highly regarded reissue label Soul Jazz -- see here for former treats -- again delves into Brazilian sounds of the late Sixties/early Seventies for a double disc which includes famous names... > Read more