@@@ Kiazi Malonga: Lomami (Red Tone, 2021) Our last listen of the day bumped to the top of the post as it’s awesome. My first impression is the contrast of the mellow strings and the powerful hand drumming and kit drumming. The kit drummer might be there more for metronome purposes because it’s very low in the mix compared to the hand drummers. The stringed instruments are panned out to the edges and the hand drums are in the middle pounding the listener, it’s a visceral and pleasurable listen. Oh man, I hope this record is straight like this all the way through as I’m feeling this formula. As the tune progresses the string players get a little more intricated and a third one gets introduced in the middle of the stereo field. Let’s cross fingers and check out a couple of other tracks. The drumming here is quite insane, world class to my ears. High energy, intricate and powerful. I’m putting this on my list to check out more thoroughly but my first impression is that it will be on my year end list.
@@@ Muito Kaballa Power Ensemble: Mamari (Rebel Up, 2021) I’m on this small UK label’s mailing list and this track is out today. My first impression here is that this German musician is taking Afrobeat and smashing it into jazz fusion-y type sounds and I’ve never heard that. So absent here is the driving energy of classic Afrobeat, but the sounds are tightly meshed and I’m enjoying that. I have a conflicted relationship with the classic macho sound of Afrobeat but I could use a bit more fire here. More energy and this level of sonically integrated sounds would be powerul. I like the drummer, the horn solos are a bit meandering, and overall I like it without loving it.
@@@ Baofo Ne Nyame: Baofo Ne Nyame (Hot Casa, 2021) The last two listens today are off this week’s WRIR playlist email. Check them out, they’re an awesome world music radio station in Virginia! I don’t see this record up on Apple Music so we’re stuck with the ol’ GooglePimpTube. My first impression is that this sounds like African Peter Tosh. The vocals are great, I love the single line guitar playing, but the mix is very fried in the higher frequency range and it’s a bit sharp for my ears. I’ve clipped the bandcamp page here below so you can hear the full recording but from my quick peep of the bandcamp page I see this recording is from 1987 which explains the crunchy tape sound. It’s not straight up African reggae as some Africans have run up the hill. I’m giving the second track a quick listen and it seems to take an ’80s Sugar Hill jam sound (or even early Prince) and does some African business on that. It’s interesting. I’m not sure I love it at first blush but I like the vocalist a whole bunch.