Reggae, “cheikhat” and Auto-Tune: the musical selection of “Monde Afrique” #155

Every week, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This Friday, make way for reissues of relatively recent pieces since they take us to the end of the 1990s in Casablanca, in the 2000s in Benghazi and, further south, as far as Gao, in eastern Mali.

“Yarait” by Ahmed Ben Ali

Libya, land of reggae? To listen to the ten tracks recorded in the mid-2000s by musician Ahmed Ben Ali and collected by Habibi Funk in the compilation Subhana, released this Friday, June 16 on digital, vinyl and CD, there is no doubt. According to the German label, it was even one of the dominant genres in the country from the 1970s, with artists like Ibrahim Hesnawi and Najib Alhoush. Originally from Benghazi, Ahmed Ben Ali explains: “The Libyan folk rhythm is very similar to that of reggae. We added our oriental notes to it and if you mix the two you get something excellent. » We let you judge.

“Shalini” by Sappho

In 1997, the Franco-Moroccan artist Sapho, a figure of the counter-culture of the 1980s, joined forces with the Marrakech collective Kasbah Rockers and the American bassist Bill Laswell to record thirteen tracks in Casablanca paying homage to the “Sheikh” these women whose songs are acclaimed at weddings but whose make-up, tattoos and transgressive lifestyle make them outcasts once the party is over. At the end of May, the Swiss label Barraka El Farnatshi reissued in a remastered version (The Sheikha Tracks Remastered, digital only) seven of these experimental titles mixing traditional trance and electronic modernity.

“Erness Fassa”, by Babsy Konaté

Do you know “Gao rap”? It is, according to the American label Sahel Sounds, a “modern, self-tuned songhai genre of music” born in the 2000s in eastern Mali and of which Baba “Babsy” Konaté and one of the pioneers. Armed with a synth, a computer, a pack of sound samples and vocal correction software, the producer brought together various influences – the takamba music of the Songhaï, the hip-hop of Bamako or the ragga from Niamey – to compose love ballads and songs of praise. The Scrapbook Tounga, released at the end of April on digital and cassette, brings together a decade of these kitsh, sincere and hypnotic tracks.

Read also: The return of the legends: the musical selection of “World Africa” ​​#154

Find all the editorial staff’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of the World Africa.

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