Rock 'n' Reel
London in the mid-80’s; Saturday morning it’s down to the Commonwealth Institute for a Ugandan drumming troupe, then check out The Guo Brothers at Covert Garden afterwards, and after the match get ready for the big one – probably one of the big African bands at the Venue, or maybe Kassav’ at the Town&Country.
These memories came flooding back on listening to this double-CD of tracks that were popular and influential when the world music explosion was just beginning. It paid to be selective though – Tania maria should be filed under ‘jazz-funk’, I never did ‘get’ 3 Mustaphas 3, Ofra hanza’s ‘Im Nin Alu’ still sounds cheesy and Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares was, more correctly in my opinion, filed under classical in most central London record shops.
That still leaves twenty-two wonderful tracks of (primarily West or South) African, Latin and Asian sounds – though no Kind Sunny Ade, or Arrow’s groundbreaking ‘Hot Hot Hot’. Can we expect a follow-up?