Various Artists

Uganda & Other African Nations: Feasts of the Savanna

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From the ethnomusicologist-fascinating label Multicultural Media comes this installment of the Music of the Earth series, featuring a number of groups from Africa. The music is roughly half from Uganda, with the other half divided among Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, Mali, and Senegal. The focus is generally on the traditional forms available in the early '70s to 1980s, with a special focus on the variety of instruments employed by the musicians. The researchers making the recordings were generally so impressed by the instruments themselves that the background of the various songs is left out of the otherwise extensive liner notes. The music is definitely raw and in some cases relatively noisy in sound quality, due to the original recordings being made on a then-new commercial tape recorder (although the remastering is admirable). Pick it up for a basic look into the musical cultures of Uganda, and, to some degree, the other nations mentioned. Other, more comprehensive albums most certainly exist, but this isn't bad for a single-album shot.

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