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Album Review

Alternate African Reality [coll] – [Syrphe]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

comprehensive survey of experimental music scene from across the African continent and holy shit is this amazing. almost three hours of material from 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, from Morocco to South Africa to Uganda, Somalia, Togo, Reunion, Madagascar and much more. there’s a huge variety of styles represented throughout: the first CD definitely starts off pretty beat oriented, and excels at that, floating through countless overheated dance floor club scenes and smoky clubs, we hit a couple rap tracks before getting some biopunk tech beats out of Mauritania and Senegalese instrumentals then the left turns are swirling: some vaporware pop synth from Age of Heroes and Lynchian musique concrete loops out of Cameroon. CD2 continues to get more spacious, tortuous sin wave stretching from South African Cobi Von Tonder then crackle-pop drone swells from Kenyan KMRU (who also has a new release on Editions Mego). we gets some chaotic field recording cutups out of Rwanda before the tracks take a more instrumental turn, even some contemporary innovations from Victor Gama and a blissful collaboration on “E”. as noted above there’s a huge mix of styles: beats, vocal loops, musique concrete, hip hop, drone and so much more. dig deeper into the label for some other amazing compilations of underground weirdness from other obscure parts of the globe as well.

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