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Wednesday 20 January 2010

Afro Reggae

I featured in yesterday's post one of the Congolese rumba CDs I acquired in Musicanova in Brussels last week. One legacy of Belgium's colonial history - which was pretty appalling even by the standards of the competition - is that there is a large Congolese population in Brussels, so that is Musicanova's speciality. But they also have a pretty decent selection of music from other Francophone countries.

As well as the rumba CDs I picked up an excellent compilation of West African reggae on the Sono Africa label called "Reggae Times In Africa". Most of the artists are from Cote d'Iviore or Mali, with one each from Senegal and Guinea, and all but one of them are completely new to me. I will definitely be investigating further.

Here are a couple of selections:

"Deni" - Ahmed Faras (Cote d'Iviore)

"Banani" - Nahawa Doumbia (Mali)

Of course you don't need to go all the way to Africa for decent reggae when there is a lot of home-grown talent here in the UK. Take Paul Nicholas (please!) -

In the unlikely event you sat through all of that you would have spotted the clever reference to "Roll Over Beethoven". The same trick is played in this next song. All together now, wama lama bama lama...

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