Album Review

Ivory Coast Soul: Afrofunkin Abidjan 1972-1982 [coll] – [Hot Casa]

Thee Opinataur   4/17/2013   12-inch, International

Take a magical journey through the Ivory Coast during their most prosperous decade since post colonialism. Abidjan was the capital of the Ivory Coast at this time, and served the Pan-Africanism ideal for many artists. Musicians from all over West Africa including Mali, Zaire, Senegal and Nigeria descended upon Abidjan creating a rich melting pot of music and culture. Prior to the 1970’s much music was imitated from western popular music from France, Spain and the United States. Some of the most influential composers and arrangers of the Ivory Coast are compiled here including Ernesto Djedje who invented and popularized the ziglibithy sound (fusion of traditional bete folk rhythm and funk soul arrangements). Fela Kuti inspired Afro-beat is displayed on several tracks including A1 featuring Pierre Antoine and B3 with Ernesto Djedje. Jimmy (inspired by Jimmy Hendrix) Hyacinthe’s Yatchimiinou‘s funky disco jam will take you back to tight white jeans and silky shirts as will Nguessan Santa’s (inspired by Carlos Santanta) Mammy Nia . Ali Ibrahim’s deep soulful La Ilaha Illalahou features tight horn section and sweet female back vocals. There is plenty of funk to go around featuring Prince Dgib who is better know in his homeland as the Ivorian James Brown. Hypnotic grooves, chants, raw breaks frenetic rhythms fill the tracks from Jean Guehi and Kassale Etles Ziglibitiens. True Love by Rato Venance is a spacey , jazzy, disco instrumental with some fine keyboard play. Thanks to a painstaking journey of nearly three year’s retrieving and restoring the original vinyl, we can now enjoy these 13 tracks dripping with sweet soul, silky grooves and funk all around.

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