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As well as leading the world’s best virtual band and knocking out operas, Damon Albarn is a tireless champion of African music. Led by his involvement in Honest Jon’s Records, he’s helped bring a range of African sounds to UK ears. Making an album in five days is a tall order by anyone’s standards. Making it in the Congo with 11 of the world’s best producers and a group of local musicians is another matter altogether. Unsurprisingly, considering the talent involved (Dan The Automator, Richard Russell and TEED were among the producers) there are moments of true brilliance. Opener ‘Halo’ finds Albarn at his melancholic best, while ‘K-Town’ demonstrates a vitality that often seems missing from African music in its WOMAD-friendly guise.
File under Leftfield Afrotronica
Download ‘Halo’, ‘K-Town’, ‘African Space Anthem’
Like this? Try Various ‘Mali Music’ (Honest Jon’s)