Various Artists

The Kampala Sound: 1960's Ugandan Dance Music

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook

During the '50s and '60s, the influence of Congolese soukous music was prevalent in many parts of Africa. From east to west, the rhumba-derived and guitar-centric style of such Congo stars as Grand Kalle, Franco, and Dr. Nico left its mark. Unlike their neighbors in Kenya and Zaire, Ugandans were particularly susceptible to Congolese influence mainly because of a lack of recording facilities to forge a sound of their own. Ugandan musicians had to record mostly with Kenyan session players in Nairobi, and so inherited their particular brand of soukous. Nicely, though, Ugandan singers brought their own unique vocal talents to bear on the lilting Congolese grooves. This fine collection of cuts from 1964-1968 rounds up some of the best the country had to offer during the heady beginnings of Afro-pop.