Essential Ten: African Collaborations

In the last issue, Songlines (Nov/Dec 2013, #96) selected its essential list of ten landmark African collaboration albums. You can read the full piece here (or download a pdf here), but here were my choices:

 Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 12.48.59Paul Simon 
Graceland (Warner, 1986)
After finding a tape of South African mbaqanga, Simon was inspired to team up with African artists for one of the most important ‘world music’ recordings by any Western artist. Graceland introduced the world to Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Joseph Shabalala, with its hits like ‘Call Me Al’ and ‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’, and paved the way for world music artists. More than that, it’s just a great album. AP


Screen shot 2013-12-04 at 12.48.52DRC Music
Kinshasa One Two (Warp Records, 2011)
Damon Albarn is no stranger to collaboration and has long been a champion for African music. For this release he gathered ten producers and shipped them off to the heart of the DRC to work with over 50 of Kinshasa’s local musicians. The album is an eclectic mix of hip-hop, funk, electronic and traditional music, and laudable as proceeds went to support Oxfam’s work in the DRC. AP





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