To the East, Ethiopia and Zanzibar, there was a teaser from Siti Muharram, soon come care of On The Corner, and, via Bill Laswell`s New Jersey studio, Gigi`s Illuminated Audio. The latter perfectly pressed on to vinyl for the first time by Time Capsule.
To the South, Kumasi paid tribute to Larry Levan`s Paradise Garage, on California’s Smiling C. Germany`s Glitterbeat collected the early singles of Shelia Chiweshe.
From the West there was Senegalese griot Diabel Cissokho`s album for Kafou, and Into The Deep Treasury`s Francois N`Gwa retrospective. Named after the Ogooue River, that divides Gabon.
From the neighbouring Congo, via Paris, was Sammy Massamba`s Propriété Privée E.P. on Secousse. The French label also reissued Neba Solo`s Can 2002. A football anthem that became a national anthem in Mali.
Mr. Bongo repressed the Ghanaian highlife classic, Hitsville Re-visited by Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas, Uhuru Yenzu. From Nigeria came Justin Nnakwe`s Jay U Experience, on Left Ear Records, and the scorching afrobeat of Seun Kuti`s Struggle Sounds – recorded direct-to-disc – one take, no rehearsals – for Night Dreamer.
Out in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe, Seance Centre resurrected the sought-after sides of the 15-member strong Gwakasonne collective.
Recordings dating from 1982 to yesterday. Nearly all of them mixing technology with tradition. Swahili Taarab, songs of the Shona People, JuJu, Bwiti rituals, Bantu tribes, and Bambara chants. 6-string guitars, 21-string kora. The n`gomi. The balafon, mbira, and obala. Drums, boula, marquerer, and tabla. With sophistication combining these with whatever gear was / is available / affordable. Singers and players sometimes alone. Sometimes ranging from 12 to 29. The music often rhythmic. Frequently dream-like.
Uhuru specials, Fairlight spirituals, proto-house, new wave, new age, disco-rollers, dub-wise modal pentatonics, boogie, and bulletins from The Black Times. Joints jumping with jazz in horns, trumpets, sax, and flutes.
Jay U Xperience – Ancestral Call – Left Ear Records
Siti Muharram – Siti`s Of Unguja – On The Corner
Gigi – Tew Ante Sew – Time Capsule
Diabel Cissokho – My Boy – Kafou
Francois N`Gwa – N`Kene – Into The Deep Treasury
Gwakasonne – Respe – Seance Centre
Kumasi – Anomakoliwa – Smiling C
Sammy Massamba – Mizele Ngue – Secousse
Neba Solo – Can 2002 – Secousse
Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Struggle Sounds
Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas, Uhuru Yenzu – Uhuru Special – Mr Bongo
Stella Chiweshe – Nhemamusasa – Glitterbeat
Neba Solo – Musow – Secousse