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

Chen Dacan Chinese Ensemble: Classical Chinese Folk Music (Arc/Elite)

Chen Dacan Chinese Ensemble: Classical Chinese Folk Music (Arc/Elite)

Elsewhere has frequently posted Chinese music, notably albums by the Silk and Bamboo Ensemble, the Silk String Quartet and the pipa/qin soloist Cheng Yu. These are all lovely albums -- restful... > Read more

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Voodoo (Rough Guide/Southbound)

No one would deny Dr John being on this voodoo collection (more correctly “vodou” in Haiti, the country it is most associated with), but the Night Tripper is here with his... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN SAM PREBBLE writes about his South Pole project

GUEST MUSICIAN SAM PREBBLE writes about his South Pole project

Imagine: you’re at a party, and you’re talking about whatever it is you like to talk about at parties – your children, probably, or how you don’t understand music or... > Read more

Blue Jeans: Reflections of My Life (1988)

Blue Jeans: Reflections of My Life (1988)

Does anyone buy CDs for their covers? Hmm. I've certainly bought more than a few records (more than a few score at a guess) for the cover art, whether it be funny, bizarre or just plain cool.... > Read more