An African street party is actually a pretty nebulous concept, but this does manage to put together some convincing, joyous music from the African continent -- mostly West or Central Africa, with some collaborations that extend across the Atlantic, making this a multi-continental party. It starts with a bit of a cheat -- a remix of a track by Vieux Farka Touré, son of the late Ali Farka Touré. Whether it's necessary is up for debate -- there's ample great dance music in Africa without needing to use remixes. But by the time of Massukos, the album hits its stride, the sound soulful, and Luisito Quintero's collaboration between Venezuela and Cameroon contains strong elements of Afro-beat, which raises its head again -- at least a little -- in "Awure Banza" by the wonderfully named Fatayi Rolling Dollar. There's a strong variety of sound, from the salsa-influence of Ricardo Lemvo to the raw acoustic roots of Kenge Kenge, but most sonically interesting are the vocal harmonies of "Nkukyaye" from Uganda's Kaz Kasozi, which seem to have dropped in from another planet. So it's not a perfect compilation, but it is an intriguing one.
|Label:||World Music Network|