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

El Naan: Codigo de Barros (ARC)

El Naan: Codigo de Barros (ARC)

While the elements of melody and rhythm might be ancient, and the lyrics (outlined in English in the booklet) contain timeless stories of a world being rapidly left behind, this is no journey into... > Read more

Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)

The biggest growth industry in world music in the past decade seems to have come out of the sub-Sahara where electric and electrifying bands have emerged, many of them with rather remarkable... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

Call it what you will -- nostalgia, history, the collector mentality -- but filling gaps in your archives or just rediscovering an artist or album just got a whole lot cheaper with the Original... > Read more

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

New Yorker Meredith Monk (born 1942) has created a world of her own between the vocal art-music of Laurie Anderson, contemporary dance and cutting edge film, avant-theatre and that place Bjork... > Read more