ON-AIR: WED. MAY 20 @ 11 AM on WPFW 89.3FM in Washington DC | ON-LINE: www.wpfw.org
On Today’s edition of Africa Now, in Fela’s Future, we ask the question of what’s the sound of African Music Now? During the next hour, we’ll take a tour of the Continent to listen to music from all corners of the continent, from South Africa to Ehiopia to Senegal to Congo and examine new trends in modern African music, how the Diaspora is impacting music on the Continent, and what promise the CD-reissues market hold for long-forgotten music. And on the way, we’ll be listening to all brand new titles from the some of the best musicians on and off the continent Baobab’s Made in Dakar, K’naan’ Troubadour, Kasai Allstars’ In the 7th Moon…., A Place Called Addis by Dub Colossus, Rebel Woman by Chiwoniso, and the Mystery EP by Blk Jks. And not only will you our listeners get a chance to listen to this music on the program, you have the chance to take it home with you as a special Thank-You for supporting WPFW and Africa Now. Show you support for Africa Now by pledging during the program on MAY 20th from 11:00am-12:00pm by calling 1-800- 222-9739 or 202-588-9739.
Recorded primarily in Kingston, Jamaica where K’Naan was granted unprecedented access by his friends Stephen and Damian Marley to their father Bob Marley’s original home studio at 56 Hope Road and the legendary Tuff Gong studios. Troubadour is a Hip Hop album like no other. K’Naan successfully blends samples and live instrumentation for a sound that’s both rooted in traditional Somali melodies and the classic Hip Hop tradition.
Zimbabwe’s Chiwoniso performs entrancing and uplifting songs with ancient soul and modern spirit. Backed by the mesmerizing interlocking melodies of the mbira and the deep grooves of an all-star lineup featuring some of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s top musicians, Chiwoniso’s voice resounds with defiant strength and profound tenderness.
Made in Dakar moves effortlessly from rumba, reggae and highlife to more indigenous grooves such as mbalax. Critis declared the group a walking compendium of West African music, saxophones and guitars rocking in rhythm over sinuous percussion. The first album in six years from this bountiful Senegalese collective glitters and tingles.
After Konono Nø1 and the multi-artist “Buzz ‘n’Rumble” set, the incredible debut album by the Kasai Allstars collective raises the ante and lifts Crammed’s Congotronics series up to the next level. An unbelievable mixture of traditional acoustic instruments, electric guitars, distortion-laden thumb pianos and soulful vocals.
Extraordinary collaboration between contemporary Ethiopian artists and Dubulah (aka Nick Page) Dub meets dreamy blues, hypnotic grooves, jazz piano, traditional Azmari singing, 70s reggae and Ethio-pop.
Although South African quartet BLK JKS (pronounced “Black Jacks”) have been making music for nearly a decade, they have only recently begun to garner the acclaim they deserve. The MYSTERY EP incorporates African drumming and a dub sensibility, but highly danceable vibe has also garnered the quartet frequent comparisons to TV On The Radio.
Out of the ether arrives this long-overdue, cogent, well-crafted, knowledgeable, and well-structured survey of Afropop and, as a generous and valuable bonus, a survey of the genre’s organic relationship to Africa’s social and political milieu over the past 50 years. Here, Tenaille, a French journalist specializing in world music, profiles in detail 30 significant African musicians, some as familiar as Miriam Makeba and Yousseau N’Dour, others as relatively unknown as Mory Kante and Zao, but all crucially important in defining and defending African music as inherently important, joyous, and free of colonial control.