DJ Rita Ray’s African tracks: From howling blues to twisted love

Howling desert blues from Mali, Afro-Cuban salsa with Angolan roots, a love story with a twist from the Democratic Republic of Congo and exhortations for unity from a Ghanaian pan-Africanist make up the first of a regular focus on new African music releases by DJ Rita Ray:

Artist: Samba Toure

  • Album: Gandadiko (Glitter Beat Records)

A guitar master from northern Mali, Samba Toure returns with his singular brand of Songhai blues.

Toure earned his stripes with the kora genius Toumani Diabate and the late Ali Farka Toure.

His new album Gandadiko, meaning Land of Drought or Burning Land, has a smoldering epic feel, featuring howling guitar riffs, the spiky ngoni (traditional West African lute) and the emotive keening of the bowed one-string djerka.

The over revved, loping camel-gait rhythms evoke his arid homeland.

His lyrics, powerful and revealing, go behind the headlines and tell of the devastating reality of the social and political aftermath of Mali’s recent traumas and the Islamist militant takeover of the north.

The hopeful sounds cushion the cautionary tales and astute observations of his songs, such as Touri Idje Bibi (Black Fruits) where he sings: “Oh earth, forgiveness, oh river forgiveness,

“Every day we offend you.”

Artist: Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca

  • Album: La Rumba Soy Yo (Cumbancha)

One of the few Africans to stamp his mark on the global salsa market, Ricardo Lemvo and his Makina Loca band offer a lush tropical offering with their new album.

La Rumba Soy Yo was a three-year recording adventure, a labor of love taking place across three continents and four countries – the US, Canada, France and Angola.

The Salsa star, raised in DR Congo, looks to his Angolan roots for inspiration – seamlessly mixing in kizomba and semba rhythms with the soukous guitars that augment his trademark upbeat Congolese-Cuban rumba.

The infectious dance of the track E Moyo exemplifies the steamy street party feel of the album.

Lemvo and Makina Loca have played around the globe over the years, hopefully, this release will help them fulfill their long-held dream of touring Africa and Cuba.

Artist: Laurette La Perle

  • Single: Twist (Brown Touch Entertainment)

Laurette La Perle is an up and coming singer-songwriter from DR Congo, who also harbors dreams of touring far and wide with her forthcoming album.

Young and ambitious, she is already a multi-award winner, scooping up gongs including the Okapi Awards Best Song of the Year and Best Central African Female at The All Africa Music Awards in 2014.

La Perle was surrounded by music as a child and received vocal training at a local Kinshasa church choir – her launch-pad into the world of musical competitions.

Now she infuses her distinctive brand of urban rumba-laced soukous with R&B.

La Perle’s lyrics fearlessly probe where others might fear to tread.

Twist, the single from her next album, is a tangled tale of love – a soap opera involving two women and a man.

It is not the age-old story, the twist is that the two women are also having an affair – with each other.

Artist: Rocky Dawuni

  • Album: Branches from the Same Tree (Cumbancha)

Ghanaian reggae singer Rocky Dawuni remains faithful to his mission to spread the message of love and unity.

The songs on his sixth album, Branches of the Same Tree, are an appealing blend of the sounds and rhythms of the black diaspora, which he calls Afro-soul.

Dawuni’s music grows from the steady roots of reggae, then delves into the treasure trove found in the music of black origin, including New Orleans funk, Brazilian samba, and Afrobeat.

He is a passionate humanitarian activist from northern Ghana, whose world vision is expressed in his uplifting, thought-provoking songs.

Dawuni’s pan-African vision finds him building bridges and making fans around the continent.

The track Nairobi features Kenyan dub poet Oneko Arika and was written when he visited the Kibera slum just before the 2013 elections.

It was a gesture of solidarity during a time of ethnic and political tension.

“I wrote it as a love song for a city, country, and people,” he said.

Source: BBC Africa

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Kindly support TheAfricanDream LLC by disabling your Adblocker. Thank you.