Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
African Connection, Vol. 1: Zaire Choc!
Genres: World Music, Pop
Listen to Samples
Warning! May cause uncontrollable, joyous dancing fits!
Randall | Seattle | 01/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I detest hyperbole. But this is, without question, my favorite CD on the planet. Soukous, the rhumba-based, Cuban-influenced dance music made popular by musicians from Zaire (now Congo), is THE most popular form of music throughout Africa, enjoyed by most everyone from Dakar to Cape Town. If you buy this CD, and I urge you to do so at once, you will soon understand why.Most of the Big Stars are here... Franco of the towering influence, sweet-voiced Papa Wemba, Ray Lema with his synthesizer, and over half a dozen others. Right from the start, layer after layer of polyrhythmic bliss sweeps over you, rhythms as elastic and springy as a rubber band. The frontman sings a line and the band jumps in on the chorus with harmonies you could bounce a quarter off. Wonderful melodies practically jump out of the speakers, grab you by the shoulders, and spin around the floor with you until you ARE in an African dance club.Bob Christgau once gave this CD his highest possible rating in the Village Voice; he said some brilliant DJ must have tested every track in the "crucible of Saturday night," watching reactions on the dance floor until he'd programmed a compliation so thrilling it could never be improved upon. (Sort of like Edison rejecting filament after filament until he came up with the light bulb.) This is the result.Soukous isn't as popular here in the States as, say, South African township jive (played by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, etc.) or King Sunny Ade's "juju music." Maybe it's a language thing-- musicians from Francophone countries are popular in Paris, while Nigerians and South Africans are popular here. At any rate, this makes it hard to compare "Zaire Choc!" to anything you've probably heard. But please try out the Real Audio tracks on this page. I think you'll like what you hear.This CD used to be available only in France. Now it's yours after a minute of pointing and clicking. Take advantage! And I wish you many years of happy listening."