senegal 70: sonic gems & previously unreleased recordings from the 70s (double LP, £22.95)label: Analog Africa
4 years in the making, in partnership with Teranga Beat, the current leading label for Senegalese music, Analog Africa proudly offer an insight into the musical adventures that were taking place in the major Senegalese cities during the 60s and 70s. This compilation reflects the unique fusions of Funk, Mbalax, Cuban Son and Mandigue guitar sounds that transformed Dakar into West Africa´s most vibrant city. Thanks to its history of outside influences, Senegal - the western point of Africa - had become a musical melting pot. Cuban and American sailors had brought Son Montuno from Cuba, Jazz from New Orleans and American soul tunes: sounds that were swiftly embraced and adopted by urban dance bands and intuitively merged with local music styles. One band in particular excelled at this fusion. 1960 marks the formation of Star Band de Dakar, a milestone that left an indelible imprint on Dakar's musical landscape. Indeed, the whole country was soon grooving to their intoxicating mixture of Afro Cuban rhythms and Wolof language lyrics. The 1970s brought a new generation of stellar bands; Le Sahel, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Number One de Dakar, Orchestra Baobab, Dieuf Dieul de Thies and Xalam1 who fused traditional Senegalese percussion instruments such Sabra, Tama and Bougarabou with organs and keyboards, giving birth to new hybrids. Merging the folkloric and the experimental, these sounds, embraced by the youth, took centre stage and gave the previously dominant Cuban music a run for its money. The comprehensive booklet is a precious document attesting to the decades of transformation that led to modern Senegalese music. Featuring biographies of music producers and a legendary record cover designer, as well as the life stories of all the groups represented here, the booklet also includes a fantastic selection of photos that have never seen before.
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