The Ripple Effect, CD Review >>
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010
Ripples Around the World - Featuring Elikeh, Janaka, and King Sunny Ade
Final exams. A beach. A roaring fire. Some mind-altering fungi. And King Sunny Ade.
Such was my first excursion into the magical world of African music. After a beach blow-out, I remember sitting on the floor of Greg's apartment, King Sunny's Synchro System playing at a low volume. I remember floating within the music, levitating across the talking drum, drifting along with those amazing, serpentine guitar lines. From that moment, I was hooked. A near lifetime love affair that has only grown deeper with time.
Admittedly, African music, and world music in general, isn't for everyone. Languages have to be overcome. Unfamiliar song structures have to be overlooked. But once you dip into that world, music will never be the same. When you want to turn down the noise, when you want to dance, when you want something uplifting and buoyant, or aggressive and defiant. It's there.
Even our good buddy Ray over at Ray's Realm fell under the spell ofAmadou and Miriam's The Magic Couple, about as mesmerizing and haunting a release from any genre that we'd heard in a while.
With that in mind, and with the celebrated release of a brand spanking new King Sunny album, let us, oh waverider, drift on back down to that magical place and see what the world of World Music has in store for us this month. 09/27/10 >> go there
King Sunny Ade – Baba Mo Tunde
And finally we get to the master himself. The man who began my entire odyssey with African music and then world music as a whole. King Sunny Ade is a legend the master of Juju, a form of African music based on spiraling, snaking, hypnotic guitar lines, weaving and bobbing in and out of the call and response vocals, and the ever present talking drum.
Rhythm is the king here, punctuated with King Sunny’s mellow voice and serpentine guitar. There really are no words to describe King Sunny’s music. Going to one of his shows is a vast, undulating, meditative, hypnotic experience where music is the Lord, rhythm is the Church and King Sunny is the pastor. 12, 15 people on stage, who knows how many. Drummers, percussionists, singers, guitarists, bassist, keyboard players. And drummers, did I say drummers? Lots of drummers. 6 hour long sets. Sweat. Dancing, swirling, spinning, and sweat.
It is a music to experience, to feel, not to analyze. And as the first album the King Sunny has recorded in ten years, Baba Mo Tunde takes its place right along side his classics. In fact, “Baba Loun Sohun Gbogbo” ranks right up with Synchro System as definitive King Sunny. Just close your eyes and let it all flow over you. Let your body loose, hips swaying, mind floating. A heady, uplifting, aural orgasm.