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I've been loving the whole Brazilian/Tropicalia thing for a long, long time now But it's only been in the last year or 2 that I've started listening to much music that has come out of Africa.

Guess that it started with Cesaria Evora -- a Cape Verde singer who sounded enough like the Brazilian artists that I love, and who sang in Portuguese, to boot. But then, last year, when that Bombino record came out, my interest was genuinely piqued and I started keeping my ears open to that Tuareg stuff. Another North African group, Etran Finatawa, grabbed my ear next, and then I picked up something totally different from Joseph Kabasele, who is Congalese, if I remember correctly. And that one was a stunner. 

Now, I just grabbed something from this Staff Benda Bilili group of street musicians -- another group from Congo -- and I realized that I just want more.

Anyone else into this type of thing?

Can I get some guidance as to what to check out next?

Or, even just start a discussion.

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Staff Benda Bilili - there's agreat film about them you should check out.

 

I used to liek Real Sounds of Africa back in the day, and the Bhundu Boys

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eksZrvhS36E

 

My favourite African album would be this:-

 

dimanche-a-bamako.jpg

Checking out the samples on Amazon right now and adding it to my wish list. Tons of energy! I'm digging it!

 

And, I love Damon Albarn and will certainly pick up Everyday Robots, but will tread cautiously with Mali Music. It's probably just a psychological thing, but when I get something with Damon's name on it, I want a Damon album. 

Of course, I have loved just about everything that he has ever done. So, I'll probably wind up picking it up eventually. Damnit!

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Probably not everybody's cup of tea, but I have always been fascinated by the Ethiopiques series, in particular Mahmoud Ahmed  and Mulatu Astatke . Check it out

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ethiopiques-4-Mulatu-Astatqe/dp/B00000DDMB

 

https://www.allegro-music.com/ethiopiques.asp

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89thiopiques

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I dig a lot of Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo's stuff:

 

 

 

A few more artists/albums to add for now:

Babatunde Olatunji - Drums of Passion



Orchestra Baobab - Pirates Choice




Of course there's the obvious ones to mention like Fela Kuti and Ali Farka Toure who are both worth delving into.
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Dig that Thomas Mapfumo video. I'll look more into that, for sure.

 

And, I forgot another catalyst for me:

Dur-Dur Band

I heard this album on Spotify and it kicked my ass. 

51vKKquBEKL._SX300_.jpg

 

SPOTIFY LINK:

http://play.spotify.com/user/126535916/playlist/4TPLGseg9j2q0sWdwKZ4Qh

 

Check it out and see what you think. 

Not sure exactly where they're from, but I have yet to pick it up -- just been listening on Spotify. I really should buy it, though.

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Femi Kuti. Saw him and his band at the Vic in 2000. One of the best live events I've ever had the pleasure of attending.

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I would check out Corey Harris' album Mississippi to Mali. While he's primarily known as a bluesman (and most of his albums fall under the blues genre), this one incorporates a lot of African instrumentation and rhythms. I've got a few others to recommend...if only my iTunes was working and I could bring them up...

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Good call on Olatunji.

 

 

 

Yeah, Drums of Passion is a classic.

 

I'm still pissed that I missed Mickey's first Planet Drum tour. I saw the second one but he didnt have nearly the talent on board as the first tour.

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Along the lines of Tinnitus' recommendation, the Nigerian band Blo had a couple great rock/funk/psych records out in the '70s. If you like Os Mutantes, Funkadelic, Sly & The Family Stone, and the whole '60s psychedelic sound you'll probably dig them:

 

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Tinariwen has some cool records.

I recently came across a couple of King Sunny Ade records for $1 each, and they're both really good.

Fela Kuti is always a favorite.

The Osibisa self-titled record is really good in sort of an early Santana-ish, but Ghanaian rather than Mexican by way of San Francisco sort of way.

I'll second Mulato Astatke.

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Check out Kanda Bongo Man's "Kwassa Kwassa" as well, its got a good beat that you can dance to.

 

Generally speaking, I really like how African music uses the guitar. They get some neat sounds and rhythms out of it that you dont hear from 1st world musicians

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Generally speaking, I really like how African music uses the guitar. They get some neat sounds and rhythms out of it that you dont hear from 1st world musicians

 

That's a large part of the allure of African music for me, too.

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I only know the artists Paul Simon co-opted, because I am a white colonialist motherf'er.

So then, check out some of the excellent stuff posted here and correct that.

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while the King Sunny Ade, Olatunji, Fela Kuti and Éthiopiques recommendations are all great, i am surprised to get this far and not see anything put out by Analog Africa mentioned.

 

specifically:

the first two volumes of their series documenting what many Afropop afficianodoes consider to be the best African band, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou.  i am by no means an exeprt on African music, but the first volume is the compilation that got me onto this music.  there is literally  nothing funkier than what was coming out of West Africa in the 1970s.  Analog Africa CDs aren't cheap, but they are very high quality with massive amounts of photos and liner notes.  the gentleman that owns the company and compiles these sets travels to Africa all the time and the stories he tells about tracking down these records and the interviews, etc. are worth the price alone.

 

here are the Analog Africa compilations that i can recommend without hesitation:

 

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou - "The Vodoun Effect" 1972-1975

Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou - "Echos Hypnotiques" ‎

Various Artists - Legends Of Benin

Various Artists - African Scream Contest

 

-justin

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