As the African contemporary sound continues to grow and change, it is also important to be reminded of the brilliance that brought us to where we are, and celebrate that excellence. Albums like History are bespoke for this purposes, filling you will the satisfaction of nostalgia yet guiding you into the future.
Tresor’s Nostalgia is definitely up there with some of the very well written and composed bodies of music reviewed on this website. The project is a testament to the diversity of the contemporary African sound as it offers an alternative joy to the pulsating and algorithmic “afrobeat” sound. Much like Pierre Kwenders, Chino Amobi and Beatenberg, Tresor via Nostalgia expands the scope of what our lives as Africans can sound like. Indeed, this is made possible by grounding the album in the music of his childhood drawing of the intrinsic rhythms and melodies that are enveloped in his memories of the past, made fresh by the voice of the present.
R2Bees pay homage to the sonic legacy that allow them to be daring enough to define their sounds, yet simultaneously lift up the new-age grooves they help shape, like on Boys’ Kasa. Despite being mildly wayward theme-wise, you still get to the soul of the Tema Boys’ sound which seems to be soulful and gritty and everything in between.
It is hard to argue against the fact that Salif Keita’s voice is one of the most recognizable African voices in recent history. The Malian vocal juggernaut has been an ever-present force of bliss in the constantly evolving afropop scene since the 1970s, creating eccentric blues melodies that continue to swirl through airways around the... Continue Reading →
Wiyaala’s eponymous debut album was a gust of fresh air that shook up the age old echo chambers in Ghanaian mainstream music. Till this day, I still get goose bumps anytime I remember her album release concert in 2014 at Alliance Francaise Accra, which was an onslaught of magical bliss disguised as music from a... Continue Reading →
Lionheart all in all is a good film- I would not stop anyone from seeing it. It does, however, suffer from a leaning towards the safe which ultimately leaves the film somewhat flat, with the characters underdeveloped. The humor sprinkled throughout the film keeps it light and interesting, and the acting is certainly believable. It is the kind of film one would watch with family on a lazy Sunday afternoon, reveling in its quietness.
Iara Lee’s 2017 documentary, Burkinabè Rising: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso did a great job at providing much needed background and context to the 2015 revolution that was led by the youth and fueled by the spirit of Thomas Sankara. The film surveyed the various facets of the culture of resistance in Burkina... Continue Reading →
South Africa’s darlings on indie-pop, Beatenberg, are back after 4 years with glistening and serenading grooves from Cape Town. The South African trio, made up of guitarist Matthew Field, Robin Brink on percussion and Ross Dorkin on bass, follow up the highly successful major label debut, The Hanging Gardens of Beatenberg (2014) which exposed the world... Continue Reading →