Orchestre Massako / Limited Dance Edition / Analog Africa – By Cal Gibson

Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

A firing four-tracker dedicated to the memory of Orchestre Massako‘s leader Jean Christian Mboumba Mackaya, this is perfectly designed to force your feet toward the dancefloor. Tracks from the early seventies that sound as if they could have been conjured up yesterday, such is their freshness and timeless appeal.

Hailing from Gabon, Mackaya and his singers and players conjure up some hot to trot rumba vibes on the sinuous opener, Gnekelhe Mohi: Rhodes patterns play out beautifully over the call and response from Amara Toure and the backing vocalists – the result is a swaying, windswept groove that just doesn’t want to stop anytime soon. Eight minutes of propulsive motion, its guaranteed to get the party started.

Boungoumoune is equally as infectious – horns at the ready, guitars firing, rhythmic complexity held down by a steady-as-she-blows bassline: another slice of highlife / boogie delight. The horn lines somehow melancholic and joyous at the same time, the guitar work fluid and locked down, vocals bringing it all together perfectly. Undeniable energy, joie de vivre, music to make you move – executed brilliantly.

Analog Africa have been searching out the good, good stuff for so long now that they’re old hands at this game, of course, but that shouldn’t blind us to the frequently spellbinding music they rediscover. Dibembi is perhaps the pick of the E.P.: another free-flowing exercise in how to make you move: guitar lines to make Stevie Ray Vaughan smile, a bass that strolls along the boulevard without a care in the world, heartfelt vocal licks sprinkled joyously on top – a heady brew that`s perfect for any summer parties you may be attending.

If you’re an Analog Africa devotee you’re no doubt on it already: its another super-strong offering from a label that always digs deep and wide. Orchestre Massako bring the funk and then some: irresistible dancefloor fire.

Orchestre Massako`s Limited Dance Edition is available now, on Analog Africa.

You can hear some fine soulful musical selections from Cal Gibson, the first Tuesday of every month, between 4 – 6PM UK time, on his Holy Rollers Radio Show, for Universal Rhythms. If you can’t catch it live, you`ll can find it archived here.

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