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Ooh, who could resist a CD titled 'African Electronic Music 1975-1982'? That ticks loads of my boxes all at once, and you know this is going to be a unique-sounding, adventurous and melodic trip before you even crack open the shrinkwrap. Opener 'New Track', ironically 30 years old this year, is a long and satisfying blast of joyous vocals, varied synthetic and organic textures and danceable ...

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REVIEWS

African Electronic Music 1975-1982 by Francis Bebey
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Mike Staff review, 17 April 2012

Ooh, who could resist a CD titled 'African Electronic Music 1975-1982'? That ticks loads of my boxes all at once, and you know this is going to be a unique-sounding, adventurous and melodic trip before you even crack open the shrinkwrap. Opener 'New Track', ironically 30 years old this year, is a long and satisfying blast of joyous vocals, varied synthetic and organic textures and danceable polyrhythms that sound like they could've been put together yesterday. Really forward-thinking and expressive stuff. When we delve into the older stuff, however, it is a lot more basic and skeletal and in places a little dated and wearing, and there are often French-language spoken word vocals that are probably much more effective if you understand French, but he's got a lovely singing voice when he uses it, and the way it's juxtaposed against all these classic synthetic sounds is more often than not really charming and upbeat and accessible. He was out there on his own doing something unique, though, and it's no surprise that all the material here from the '80s sounds more fully formed and focused and with more of a crisp, bouncy, full pop sound. The minimal pop of '81's 'The Coffee Cola Song' shows some real drum machine mastery with a surprisingly effective synth-panpipe line to boot.
If you buy this record not only will you feel massively cultured and intellectually superior, but you'll have some natty proto-electronic bilingual afropop to blast out of your window and make your friends ask what you're listening to when you have your next barbeque.


VIDEO

FRANCIS BEBEY - "NEW TRACK" - 1982 - YouTube



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