Musical safari – Travel Africa Magazine


Bring the sounds of Africa to your house with this collection of musicians from throughout the continent. Compiled by Den Hukins

We could not be capable to discover Africa in the meanwhile, so here’s a musical journey with among the continent’s wonderful musical expertise to maintain us feeling linked and to carry your spirits.

 

Zimbabwe really feel-good vibes
Originating from a township close to Victoria Falls, Mokoomba are an exhilarating mix of pan-African musical kinds, topped by Mathias Muzaza’s placing vocals and the teams gospel-type harmonies—harking back to Paul Simon’s Graceland. Their Luyando album in 2017 is a gilt-edged enthralling hear.

The Four Brothers had been as soon as described by the legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel as “the best live band in the world” and it’s no marvel: their candy guitar riffs and solos radiate really feel-good sunshine vacation music. It’s that upbeat rhythm that will get competition-goers’ heads bobbing and our bodies boogieing. If you needed to describe quintessential African music, this may very well be it.
Try: Greatest Hits 1994-1996

Gasper Nali on Chikale Beach. Image copyright Mattias Stalnacke

Melodic Malawi
For pure folks happiness, Malawi has a few gems that may make sure to get your toes tapping.

The Madalitso Band had been found busking outdoors a shopping center in Lilongwe. The two buddies belt out fantastic melodies as they strum their do-it-yourself one-string bass and a 4-stringed guitar as a foot drum retains the brisk rhythms ticking alongside. In 2019 the dynamic duo went on a life-altering tour throughout Europe, together with WOMAD UK, to advertise their Wasalala album.

Gasper Nali (pictured above) is a one-man band, his showpiece being a 3-metre one-string bass, performed with a stick and an empty beer bottle. There’s a fabulous video filmed in Nali’s village on the shores of Lake Malawi the place you may see him in motion performing the title tune from his 2015 album Abale Ndikuwuzeni

A as soon as-in-a-lifetime icon
The Beninese singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo is likely one of the biggest African artists of all time. A 4-time Grammy Award winner, Kidjo’s highly effective commanding voice can attune to a broad vary of musical kinds. None extra so, than the duvet of Talking Heads’ 1980 album Remain in Light. Kidjo’s model is a elegant tribute to the groundbreaking album.

 

Highlife Ghanaian greats
The soundtrack to Ghana has at all times been highlife music, and we’re lucky to have two influential highlife greats nonetheless lively, who each launched separate albums in 2019: Ebo Taylor (Yen Ara), the guitarist and producer has been placing his personal mark on African music for 50 years, and Pat Thomas (Obiaa!) identified by many as “the golden voice of Africa”, whose profession started within the Sixties. Both albums embody every part highlife has been and is now: a melting pot of dazzling African rhythms, jazz, funk and afrobeat.

 

Bilateral blues
Whilst Africa has its personal model of Blues away from its distant cousin within the Deep South, listed below are two albums that actually may sound at residence alongside the Mississippi or the Niger River.

Talking Timbuktu, by Ali Farka Touré (with Ry Cooder). A Grammy winner for Best World Music Album in 1994, the album completely captures Touré’s deep-rooted Malian ‘Desert Blues’ type, and with the spectacular interaction from Ry Cooder’s trademark slide guitar and banjo taking part in, it put African blues within the highlight internationally.

Wande by Samba Touré. This 2018 launch is fantastically produced, filled with cool spacious electrical blues riffs and crisp rock guitar—nothing fancy right here, simply sincere blues with an indicator Malian sound.

Tamikrest. Image copyright Shutterstock

Sand tunes
If you want blues rock, then look to the Sahara for the dynamic Tuareg Rock scene. Scorching guitar riffs, campfire claps and African drums beat hypnotic rhythms throughout the Sahel area. Mainly performed by the nomadic Tamashek (Tuareg) folks, the band Tinariwen pioneered the desert sound by being the primary to make use of electrical guitars within the late Nineteen Seventies.

Today, many comparable bands comparable to Tamikrest (pictured above), Kel Asouff and Bombino take pleasure in worldwide success. For a full-on axe-shredding expertise, Mdou Moctar will intrigue any metallic fan.

Try: Chatma, by Tamikrest, and Llana (The Creator), by Mdou Moctar.

 

Northern stars
If you might have been to Marrakesh, little question you’d have been allured by the musicians within the historic Jemaa el-Fnaa sq.. The pounding drums, clanking iron castanets and the fervent chanting isn’t just a vacationer present, however a part of the biggest music scene in Morocco. Gnawa music dates again centuries and nonetheless is utilized in ritualistic therapeutic ceremonies.

While it’s maybe an acquired style to western ears, you might be pleasantly stunned by dipping into Maalem Houssam Gania’s Mosawi Swiri album and Oulad Lghabathe by Asmâa Hamzaoui (and Bnat Timbouktou) who at 16 turned the primary feminine gnawa performer.

 

The future voice of Africa
Fatoumata Diawara is at the moment the forefront of up to date African music. The charismatic Malian activist, musician and singer has a voice as various and vibrant as her apparel. The Fenfo album, with its tasteful fusion of jazz, funk and blues, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2018 and is an actual showcase for contemporary Africa. The album cowl was photographed within the searing salt pans of the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia. Expect to listen to way more from Diawara within the coming years.

Den Hukins hosts Calabash! The African Music Guide, devoted to the African music scene within the UK.



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