February 20, 2017
Synthesize The Soul: Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973-1988
TITLE: Synthesize The Soul: Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973-1988
Space Echo, Analog Africa’s anthology of the trippy, funky 70s and 80s sounds of Cabo Verde, was my favorite compilation album of 2016. Hot on its heels comes Synthesize The Soul with another 18 killer tracks in the same vein. Ostinasto Records’ Vik Sohonie is a global cratedigging DJ in the manner of Analog Africa’s Samy Ben Redjeb; this project sent Vik and his collaborators to Lisbon, Rome, Paris, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Dakar and Rhode Island (all hot spots of the extensive Cabo Verdean diaspora) as well as to the archipelago nation itself in search of vinyl, licensing, photos and stories, the latter two of which are assembled in a 20-page booklet. The emphasis here is on funana and batuku, two of the most explicitly African Cabo Verdean styles. Electricity revolutionized those genres (with synths replacing accordions), as did the appeal of first-world rock (especially of the psych variety) and disco and second-world sounds from the Caribbean like kompas and zouk. The resulting hybrid is one of the great under-recognized modern dance musics; thank you Vik and friends for bringing us more of it.
TOP TRACKS: 1 2 3 8 10 11 13 15 16
ALSO RECOMMENDED: all of the rest of them