Boomkat Product Review:
Smart survey of postcolonial African music, covering thousands of miles but united in a sense of joy and optimism
“It was the most exciting period of recent African history. From the late 1950s onwards, one African country after another gained independence. Independence had its own literature and its own soundtrack. It was the dawning of the golden age of African pop music. In the 1970s and early 1980s, local traditions, modern western styles and instruments combined to create an exciting new sound that expressed the euphoria and pride of a newfound freedom. The Golden Afrique series dives into this vast musical ocean of and comes up with its finest, rarest pearls.
The series opens with music from Guinea, Mali, Guinea-Bissao, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Chad and Senegal – many of the tracks are available on for the very first time in a long time. Youssou N’Dour takes his first tentative steps, creating the mbalax sound that will later spread around the world, Salif Keita raises his golden voice, Baobab de Dakar and Bembeya Jazz National from Conakry take the big band sound to new heights, the Super Eagles of Gambia sing of African unity, the Amazones de Guinea form the first all-woman big band line-up, Miriam Makeba sings in her own language from her Guinean exile, Super Mama Djombo have to fly from Guinea to Moscow to make their groundbreaking recordings, Maitre Gazonga from Chad has a huge hit and disappears…”