# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - Africa Plays On

  by Daniel Cressey

published: 18 / 7 / 2006

Various - Africa Plays On
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Mixed, but impressively versatile new compilation of African world music

Perhaps uniquely among continents, Africa’s culture is often perceived in the west as a single entity. While attempting to lump France and Spain or Brazil and Argentina under the same banner would be fraught with obvious problems the massive variety of Africa – apparently home to 1,000 + languages – can still be enlightening. The sheer variety present here is stunning. Much of the African music that makes it to Britain comes as worthy, historical, cultural exchange pieces that are probably about as representative of the state of their states as Morris dancers are of inner city London. Western cultural influences have of course penetrated – the only country that hasn’t produced tedious, derivative rap acts yet is Tibet. But fused to more traditional elements a new spin is given and the songs from Daara J, Osibisa and Ba Sissoko alone justify the existence of this compilation. Other tracks are wider of the mark. In a 21st century version of Paul Simon’s 'Graceland' a number of US middleweights have grafted themselves onto Africa’s leading lights. So the listening to 'Africa Plays On' means you do have to endure the muzak contributions of the preposterously monikered John Legend. Then there is the sheer how-on-earth-did-he-get-a-record-deal? confusion always engendered by hearing soul-rap gimp Akon. Perhaps the most telling track here is Wasis Diop’s ‘Deffal Lu Wor’ – a joyous, unapologetic appropriation of the Talking Heads’ ‘Once in a Lifetime’. On this track at least, the boot is on the other foot. In ten years the tracks here may have their own genres, “African music” isn’t going to cut it for much longer.

Track Listing:-
1 Richard Bona- Please Don't Stop
2 Cheikh Lô- Kelle Magni
3 Amadou & Mariam-Coulibaly (Akon Remix)
4 Alpha Blondy- Cocody Rock (2005 Remix)
5 Wahala Project- Wahala (12" Mix)
6 Daara J- Number One
7 Baaba Maal- Kettode
8 Wasis Diop- Defaal Lu Wor
9 Ba Sissoko- Silani
10 Osibisa- Watsui
11 Tic Tac- Yaa Densoa
12 Onda- Ngando
13 Waldemar Bastos- Pitanga Madurinha II
14 King Mensah- Amen
15 Roy Ayers & Fela Kuti- 2000 Blacks Got To Be Free (Louie Vega EOL Mix)

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