Analog AfricaV.A.: Senegal 70 (SN,70s,re.2015)**°°
Different from most African releases from the 70s this compilation of tracks is rather relaxed in nature, not overly ambitious, and the joy is merely that of relaxed enjoyment too, with moments of surprise only in the details. Different a bit is the funky-repetitive and rather reggae-like song by Fangol, “Mariala”. Also elsewhere there are moments were the singer gives the song, in a slower rhythm, a certain singer’s emotionality and attention, also like that which can be heard more specifically on the last track of the album. The bands seem to play live and adapt a lot from Latin origin, like salsa rhythms and minor funky elements, again in an mostly more relaxed mode, something that keeps out a more directed or (like in other countries) more sweeping energy. The African elements are the tiny details of fast hand percussion, bass repetition, responses in harmony voices to the lead singer. These responses also more often recall simply rhythmical calls or words (like with “boom boom aa aa” on track 5), with one one occasion even recalling the African jungle and its birds and animals (on track 9). Occasionally the singer, like on that track is more that of a storyteller, even when embedded in an afro-salsa rhythm and adapting tiny funky rhythms to it. Orchestre Laye Thiam (track 6) shows a worthy mention of rhythmical improvisation with repetition that becomes hypnotically repetitive. A track like this, like some others, gets also some trumpet solos on top (even more harmony brass solos can be heard elsewhere). The last track by the same orchestra even adds another element, a wahwah electric guitar, a guitar which later plays solos in a rather psychedelic style, while afro rhythms like background guitar, and fast percussion on cowbell and other elements accompany the rhythmic groove.