Sunday, January 23, 2011

CD Review: The Danceable Toubab All Stars

Toubab All Stars
Mekfoul District
Taxi-Brousse Productions
The frenzied, French band, Toubab All Stars, bring loads of life, moods, and rhythms to the mix with their latest release, Mekfoul District. The opener, "Na Nga Def", is a soukous gem with Latin American sensibility. "Remede Authentique" is another spectacular soukous track with lively vocals, Congolese guitar stylings, and brashy brass. "Mekfoul District" is a brassy tune with definite characteristics from the Klezmer/Gypsy band traditions. Reggae-tinged tunes, "Tous A Velo", "Business Class", "Celebre Voyant D'Afrique", and "Monsieur Traore", are especially delicious. There are soukous, dancehall, ska, reggae, brass band, and Latin American influences throughout. All fourteen tracks play like fourteen individual parties. One familiar cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" is included. It is also the only track entirely sung in English. The final track, "Cumbia Te Quiero", can be appropriately categorized as 'Klezico': a combination of Klezmer brass and Latin American (Mexican) elements. Mekfoul District is a solid release for the French, North African, Latin, and Soukous music fans. ~ Matthew Forss

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