Various Artists

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Zouglou Review

by Carl Hoyt

Zouglou is a satirical, upstart dance music from the University of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, the country which has long provided the resources for some the best African bands. A throbbing, denunciatory groove in the spirit of Zao propels these songs protesting the increasingly difficult conditions in this great university town - a new outburst from disaffected youth, this time drawing on the hot Afro-zouk phenomenon sweeping Africa. Zouglou is not a reform movement but a release - less resigned than rai but just as cynical, its followers find their freedom in the beat.