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African Beat


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Audio CD, August 30, 2011
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Amazon's Putumayo Presents Store

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Biography

Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world's cultures. The label grew out of Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. Co-founder Michael Kraus joined Dan to launch Putumayo World Music and establish a non-traditional sales division. Putumayo World Music has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic ... Read more in Amazon's Putumayo Presents Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Putumayo World Music
  • ASIN: B0057OOPJ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,633 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Busi Mhlongo - Yehlisan' Umoya Ma-Afrika
2. Lëk Sén - Rebel Blues
3. 9ice - Alapomeji Anthem
4. Issa Bagayogo - Kalan Nege
5. Fredy Massamba Zonza
6. Yode & Siro - Quel est Mon Pays?
7. Donso - Mogoya
8. Adama Yalomba - Africa
9. Afro-Fiesta - Baweli
10. Vieux Farka Toure - Wosoubour
11. Les Barons - Lagos Sound System

Editorial Reviews

African Beat features artists who are as likely to have traditional African drumming, soukous and mbaqanga on their iPods as they are the latest European dubstep and US hip-hop. These tracks reveal that even in this globalized, hi-tech world, the divide between the past and the future is not as great as it may seem. Songs by musicians with deep connections to their roots, including Vieux Farka Touré and Les Barons, are remixed and reworked by Western DJs. The music of South Africa's Busi Mhlongo, Senegal's Lëk Sèn and Malian/French group Donso reveals how hip-hop, electronica and other urban musical styles have been incorporated into traditional African music, taking it in surprising new directions.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Ukwendu on January 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I own several music CDs from Putamayo and have always been very pleased with them. They have a knack of creating excellent music compilations. African Beat is no exception. This is a compilation of songs from Western Africa including the countries of South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, and both Congos.

Listening to this CD one can hear the traditional music fused with modern instruments, rhythms, and techniques as well as some influences from other continents.

For example the third track - Alapomeji Anthem by 9ice - fuses a traditional Asian rhythm with hop hip and rap beats to create a very modern sound. The Asian rhythm does take over the song a bit too much and I wish the vocals were more in the foreground. The song has a familiar sound but yet remains fresh. This is a song I would expect to hear my teenage daughter listening to.

Kalan Nege, the fourth track, also has some Asian influence, but it is handled better than in Alapomeji Anthem by keeping it in the background. Sometimes a little bit goes a long way.

Another influence in some of the songs is Reggae. Reggae is very popular in Africa so it isn't surprising to find a song on this CD with a reggae influence. Track 8 titled Africa is that song. Without the reggae beat this song would be a more traditional song.

The last track, Wosoubour (Chris Annibell Remix) by Vieux Farka Toure, immediately reminded me of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground. The opening of this song is very similar to Higher Ground and then blends with a reggae styled beat.

There are more traditionally styled songs like Quel Est Mon Pays? and Mogoya on this CD.

To get a feel for the modern and diverse music of Africa, I would certainly recommend this CD from Putumayo to begin discovering some new artists.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 3, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
------------------------------------------------
Various Artists
"PUTUMAYO PRESENTS: AFRICAN BEAT"
(Putumayo, 2011)
------------------------------------------------
A smooth mix of African pop and modern production. The first half of this collection sounded fairly generic but more alluring, ear-bending sounds crept in towards the end, like the angular, unexpected riffs on Donso's "Mogoya," Afro Fiesta's slinky, Marley-esque reggae-funk on "Baweli" and Vieux Farka Toure's Toureg-influenced groove on "Wosoubour." The album closes with "Lagos Sound System" by Les Barons, one of the only tracks that sounds like pure Afro-Beat, in the Fela style (which is kind of what I expected this album to be full of... The clubby stuff up front didn't do much for me, but like many Putumayo collections, this is full of signposts to a variety of artists and styles that might otherwise be hard to find. Definitely worth checking out! DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To World Music)
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Format: Audio CD
This 2013 compilation album maintains the high standards Putamayo has set with its previous African music compilations.
Comprising 11 tracks and totalling 40 minutes (shame it isn't longer), "African Beat" contains a wide diversity of styles. Nine of the eleven songs, spanning the last decade or so, were new to me and probably will be to most listeners.
The artists are from across Africa, primarily West Africa but with representation from Tanzania, Angola and South Africa. One song seems to be solely the work of European artists and while it incorporates an Afrobeat style, I'd question its inclusion when there are so many African artists who could have been included instead. Across the album you will hear influences such as reggae, hip hop, Afrobeat and blues, and despite the diversity of styles an underlying theme is the fusion of modern and traditional elements.
The opening song, "Sina Makosa" by Cool James is the standout (a longer version of the song can be found on the "Great East African Trip" compilation) and songs by Fredy Massamba (from Congo) and Issa Bagayogo (from Mali) are also highlights. However, there are no disappointing songs on the album.
Compilation albums like this are a great introduction to African music, but I'd recommend this to any fans of African music as few of the artists are well known outside Africa and so most will be new to most listeners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M Willis on June 29, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another great music sampler from this label. Not your garden variety African collection, there are many musical styles adding to the big tent of "world music"
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Has most of - but not all-- of Cool James' "Sina Makosa," and other dance-friendly tunes. Collection is as good as I expected - up to Putumayo's consistent great "track" record
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