Africaine 808


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Listening to all the ethno and acoustic instruments on Africane 808's debut album recalls the work of '90s techno artists like the Orb and Tranquility Bass, but the Berlin production duo don't sound quite as wide-eyed and sprawling as their spiritual predecessors. Basar is the kind of straight-ahead and lean ethno-techno one would expect from a time that's post-Basic Channel and post-disco edits, as the grooves must be tight and stand-up without the help of drugs. Members DJ Nomad and Dirk Leyers take the African and Caribbean flavors of Leyers' previous dance project Closer Musik and employ them with more of a celebratory style, as rave-ups like "Balla Balla" and "Yes We Can't" hold appeal for both left-field tastemakers and party people. Key track "Rhythm Is All You Dance" is the zeitgeist with a thumb piano plus a keyboard line that's kin to the Ohio Players' "Funky Worm," but this excellent debut is a journey worth taking from beginning to end, and often.

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