November 1, 2016

Tiken Jah Fakoly | Racines

ARTIST: Tiken Jah Fakoly
TITLE: Racines
LABEL: Wrasse
My favorite reggae album of 2015 is now getting a proper USA release. Tiken Jah Fakoly of Cote D’Ivoire is one of Africa’s leading reggae artists; his roots sound and conscious lyrics (usually in French) are a throwback to mid-to-late 70s Jamaica, his creamy harmonies and punchy attack are pure African reggae. He’s never been a versions guy, but for his tenth solo studio album Fakoly pays tribute to some of his biggest influences: Marley (2 with an assist from U-Roy, and 5), Burning Spear (4 and 9), Peter Tosh (11), Junior Murvin (10), Junior Byles (6, supported by current Jamaican star Jah9), Max Romeo (who guests on his own song 3) and Ken Boothe (ditto for 1). From more recent times, he covers Buju Banton (8) and his mentor Alpha Blondy (7) as well. Fakoly went to Tuff Gong studio in Kingston to get that Sly-Robbie-Mikey Chung sound; the African instrument overdubs (kora, ngoni, balafon) are a great touch as well. Most of these songs are stone classics; Fakoly and team treat them with the respect they deserve and just enough personal flavor to make the project distinctive. Pure pleasure from beginning to end, every track is a winner.
TOP TRACKS:    1    3    4    7    8    11
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    5    6    9    10

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