Swahili Rumba

Golden Sounds Band

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Swahili Rumba Review

by Adam Greenberg

Hailing from outside the usual region of influence of the rumba in Africa (the Congolese region, that is), the Golden Sounds Band here pumps out a good hour of Kenyan urban rumba quite capably. The sound is somewhat less clean than the usual sound from a Congolese outfit, or even a West African one (รก la Orchestre Baobab), but it's energetic still. The mix of cultures inherent in the music can be heard to a degree, but primarily in the form of pan-African influences on the band itself as a result of being urban (members hail from Kenya, Tanzania, and the Congo). The music is somewhat repetitive, as all rumba has the potential to be, but it holds rather well, considering. The instrumentalists are all worth hearing, with the only major drawback being the overuse of a fuzz box on the part of Miraji Shakashia, the lead guitarist. The compositions are relatively simple and straightforward, with a gradual speeding-up of the tempo over the course of the songs, and a gradual increase in complexity (vocal and instrumental) to go along with it. For African rumba at its finest, one may wish to look elsewhere, but nonetheless, this album is a perfectly fine one, giving listeners a glimpse of the East African flavor of rumba.

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