Samy Ben Rejeb has done most of Africa and now finds himself in Colombia – as usual he has found a wealth of great music that seems to ignore any preconceptions and delivers a belt to the ass.

In March 2007 Redjeb arrived in Barranquila Colombia with a stack of African sides to trade with and found dozens of willing and eager Colombians highly receptive to the music they had been listening to through coastal sound systems for years. The influences were already there and Redjeb found that he was adding to the local appreciation of this great music. The music he got in return shows a great many of the influences already in place but a bewildering variety of branches from these trees.

The two discs of the double Cd collection are split into logical entities – disc 1 has more of an African influence with Afrobeat, Palenque, Tropical Funk and Terapia offering up a variety of rhythms and chant styles while disc 2 has a much darker sound in the Puya, Poro, Gaita, Mapele, Cumbiambe and Chande forms – the two sets will be available separately for vinyl lovers so choices are on offer.

This is less of a shock to the system than his African odysseys simply because the music of South America has had more exposure over the years but nevertheless the sheer breadth of talent and the variety of ass-quivering forms is still amazing.

On disc 1 I was blown away from the opening number – Wganda Kenya offering wondrous vocal skills over a Samba meets Afrobeat backing while the vocal gymnastics of Fuentes All Stars is exceptional.
Disc 2 opens with a brilliant piece of voodoo – ‘Eco en Stereo’ by Sonora Dinamita is my favourite track of all the 32 – and goes on through a set of brilliantly dark dance numbers.

As usual with Analog Africa there isn’t a filler among the 32 tracks and the two discs vibrate with pure rhythm – a great release.

LATEST REVIEWS

Sign-up