VA – Africa The Essential Album (2003) (FLAC / MP3)

Artist: VA
Title: Africa – The Essential Album
Year Of Release: 2003
Label: Essentials
Genre: World, Ethnic, Folk
Quality: FLAC (Tracks)/MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 02:29:42 min
Total Size: 936 mb/343 mb

Africa — a huge continent, with many countries, many more regional styles of music, and many, many records produced in those styles in the last part of the 20th century. Is it possible for one two-CD set to cover all the essential bases? No, but Africa: The Essential Album does about as well as it can in its two-and-a-half hours. About half of the 27 tracks are by some of the biggest names in African popular music, or at least the names most familiar to the North American and European audience: Youssou N'Dour, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Baaba Maal, Ali Farka Toure (here with Ry Cooder), Salif Keita, Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Thomas Mapfumo, Aster Aweke, Oumou Sangare, Hugh Masekela, and Miriam Makeba. Though most of it's taken from the 1980-2000 period, there are a few tracks predating that era, one of them (Franco & OK Jazz's "On Entre OK, On Sort KO") going all the way back to the mid-1950s. And many countries and genres are represented, from Algerian rai and Nigerian juju to more arcane strains from Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, and elsewhere. Particularly on Disc One, this compilation does have a good share of the sort of bubbly, uplifting, heavily rhythmic contemporary Afro-pop that gets more exposure in the West than other varieties of music from the continent. But there are a good number of detours to more unusual branches, too much to sum up in a capsule review, though some of the highlights include the call-and-response singing and kora playing on Djeli Moussa Diawara's "Yekeke"; Aster Aweke's "Tchewata," which backs her vibrant singing with lute; the Toure-Cooder collaboration "Diaraby"; Orchestre Baobab's "Utru Haras," with its sad moody horns and languid Latin-influenced beats; and Eric Agyeman's strange "I Don't Care," where the carefree highlife backing gets punctuated by an almost ska-like vocal chorus.

01. Youssou N'Dour – Immigrés / Bitim Rew (7:00)
02. Baaba Maal – Sidiki (4:54)
03. Khaled – Chebba (5:39)
04. King Sunny and his African Beats – Synchro System (6:29)
05. Fela Anikulapo Kut – No Agreement (7:23)
06. Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited – Muchadura (5:01)
07. Samba Mapangala and Orchestre Virunga – Malako (9:04)
08. Franco and OK Jazz – On Entre OK, On Sort KO (2:57)
09. Eric Agyeman – I Don't Care (6:31)
10. Kofi Olomide – Si, si, si (3:46)
11. Brenda Fassie – Shikhebe Shamago (4:39)
12. Salif Keita – Cono (6:02)
13. Mose 'Fan Fan' – Lwambo (5:34)

01. Diogal – Samba Alla (3:50)
02. Djeli Moussa Diawara – Yekeke (7:50)
03. Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Ikanyezi NEzazi (4:49)
04. Pierre Akendengue – Intyayi S'arende (5:03)
05. Aster Aweke – Tchewata (6:11)
06. Tarika – Aretina (5:10)
07. Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder – Diaraby (7:25)
08. Jean Bosco Mwenda – Tambala Moja (4:28)
09. Manecas Costa – Ermons Di Terra (4:15)
10. Souad Massi – Yawlidi (3:25)
11. Orchestra Baobab – Utru Horas (8:41)
12. Oumou Sangare – Ah Ndiya (4:29)
13. Hugh Masekela – Happy Mama (4:25)
14. Miriam Makeba – The Lion Cries (Mbube) (4:57)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *