The Very Best -‘Warm Heart Of Africa’ (Moshi Moshi)
The Very Best is a collaboration between producers Radioclit and singer Esau Mwamwaya, the latter hailing from Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe. Esau was based in Clacton, East London for several years, where he ran a shop on the same street at Radioclit’s studio.
This album has been three years in the making, and if it’s worth spending time on, then it’s worth doing properly and this is what they have done. Calling upon contributions from Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend and the noughties goddess that is M.I.A, (two people who have also shown that collaborations between minority and majority world do not have to leave people with egg on their faces) this is likely to be one of the most exciting and vibrant albums you will hear this year. The highlights include both M.I.A’s collboration ‘Raindance’, Koenig’s collaboration on the tiel track and album opener ‘Yalira.’
It takes influences that include traditional Malawi music, Tchopa, Manganje, Vimbuza and African reggae, and in their own words ‘everything from Ludacris to Phil Collins.’ OK, so no-one’s perfect, but even the mention of a slaphead Tory should not be allowed to get in the way of an album that truly points out what a bloody silly label ‘world’ music is, and that this music is global in so many ways. Even in the freezing Scottish November, as this album replays on my iPod, I want to dance and embrace life.
Warm Heart Of Africa is out now
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