Africain

Africain

by Tiken Jah Fakoly
     
 

A leading reggae artist from Francophone Africa, Tiken Jah Fakoly is also one of its most articulate and outspoken voices. Censure, persecution, and exile (he fled his native Ivory Coast for Mali after receiving death threats, and he also has been declared persona non grata by the government of Senegal), have never prevented "Fakoly" from telling things as they are.… See more details below

Overview

A leading reggae artist from Francophone Africa, Tiken Jah Fakoly is also one of its most articulate and outspoken voices. Censure, persecution, and exile (he fled his native Ivory Coast for Mali after receiving death threats, and he also has been declared persona non grata by the government of Senegal), have never prevented "Fakoly" from telling things as they are. His incisive, confrontational style contrasts with the more metaphorical or allusive lyrics of previous generations of African artists, and brings his persona closer to that of Bob Marley -- clearly Fakoly's main influence, both musically and thematically. L'Africain is mostly concerned with the sad fortunes of the African peoples and their diaspora, and their everyday struggle against injustice and exploitation, be it at home by their own corrupt administrations, or in Europe by their past colonial masters and a society growing more and more intolerant of immigrants by the minute. A great example is his ironical version of Sting's "Englishman in New York," here transformed into "Africain à Paris," its new lyrics in French paint a very different and much harsher reality than the picturesque one of Sting's Briton in America. Other remarkable cuts include "Non à l'Excision," a moving plea against female genital mutilation, and "Ouvrez les Frontières," a call for the opening up of borders. Of course, its engaged discourse would not suffice to make this a good album if the music were not up to the task. Fortunately, this is where Fakoly truly excels: he is a superb reggae artist, one of the finest of his generation, in any language, able to seamlessly combine the sound and spirit of Marley's teachings with African instruments (kora, djembe, balafon) and contemporary concerns. In this sense, L'Africain is a treat even for those reggae fans who cannot understand French or are unconcerned by its politics (but then again, all true reggae fans should be). Produced by Kevin Bacon and Jonathan Quarmby (whose credits include Ziggy Marley, Finley Quaye, and Del Amitri), featuring guests Soprano, Akon, and Beta Simon, as well as Zebda's Magyd Cherfi, who wrote part of the material, L'Africain is one of the best reggae releases of 2007, and a worthy addition to Tiken Jah Fakoly's exemplary catalog.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2007
Label:
Barclay
UPC:
0600753013069
catalogNumber:
5301306

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tiken Jah Fakoly   Primary Artist,Chant,Choeurs
Dave Kynner   Clavier
Denver Smith   Percussion
Toumani Diabaté   Kora,Soloist
Jonathan Quarmby   Clavier
Amada Diarra   Djembe
Sylvain Taillet   Musical Direction
Didier Bolay   Trumpet
Zoumana Tereta   Soukou
Charles Laube   Drums
Julie Brou   Choeurs

Technical Credits

Geoffrey Oryema   Composer
Dave Kynner   Composer
Jonathan Quarmby   Arranger,Programming,Engineer
Mooloodjee   Composer
Tiken Jah Fakoly   Arranger,Composer
Magyd Cherfi   Composer,translation
Bruno Dejarnac   Vocal Engineer
Lawrens Brunel   Scenery
Mathilde Damour   Graphic Design
Thomas Delepière   Graphic Design

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