the musical selection of “World Africa” #142
Each Wednesday, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This week, back to the 1970s and 1980s with the Libyan group The Free Music, the most Nigerian of Cameroonian musicians, Nkono Teles, and Congolese jack-of-all-trades Maurice Pouto Doudongo.
“Ana Qalbi Ehtar” by The Free Music
In 2021, Habibi Funk had included in the second part of its compilation An Eclectic Selection of Music from the Arab World an astonishing revival of stayin’ alive, of the Bee Gees, by a certain Najib Al Housh. At the time, the German label did not rule out later devoting entire reissues to some of the artists presented. This will be done on March 17 with The Free Music, a disc which unearths nine pieces of the eponymous group formed by the artist Libyan, selected from a discography of ten self-produced albums from the 1970s and remained relatively confidential. A unique mix between funk, disco, soul and reggae, for which Habibi Funk already promises a second volume…
“Martin Street Special” by Nkono Teles
The same approach for Soundway Records, which released a compilation in 2016 devoted to the Nigerian scene of the 1980s, Doing it in Lagoswhich featured a musician Cameroonian by the name of Nkono Teles. With Love Vibration, to be released on March 24, the British label takes a closer look at the work of this “pioneer” electronic music to Nigeria, of which he collected six tracks from his three solo albums. A talented keyboardist, Nkono Teles had introduced the drum machine into local popular music and, quickly breaking away from the makossa of his native country, had created a sound boogie funk which had earned him the opportunity to produce the albums of many Nigerian artists.
“Tika” by Maurice Pouto Doudongo
Also in the 1980s, a musician Congolese named Maurice Poto Doudongo multiplies the experiments in Brussels after having cut his teeth alongside the soukous group Zaïko Langa Langa in Kinshasa. In his twenties, he collaborates with the Franco-Congolese duo Zazou Bikaye then decides to record a solo album in which he sings and plays all the instruments (synths, guitars…). The result, which mixes electronic music, Congolese rumba and funk, with here and there touches of jazz, hip-hop and reggae, will not see the light of day in the end… until the Belgian label Crammed Discs releases it in digital, last December, under the name of The Lost Album.
Find all the musical favorites of the editorial staff in the youtube playlist of World Africa.
Marseille, Musical Tower of Babel
From March 23 to 24, Marseille is hosting Babel Music XP, an event dedicated to current world music, which brings together economic and cultural players and the general public. Some 2,000 professionals will thus meet at the Friche La Belle de Mai cultural center for round tables, conferences, screenings, debates, workshops, award ceremonies, speed meetings, etc.
As for concerts, a festival will take place at the Dock des Suds, with in particular, as far as African artists are concerned, the Congolese of Fulu Miziki Kollektiv, the Franco-Ethiopian group Kututhe singers of Heiresses (which pay tribute to the Algerian Cheikha Rimitti), the Franco-Moroccan duo Taxi Kebabbut also the Reunionese fromAn’Pagay and Soval Chaviré… The complete program is available on the event website.