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Music: July 2014 Archives

Makina Loca

Twenty years back Ricardo Lemvo started a band that brilliantly mixed Cuban music with rumba from his native Congo. Their fusion has been called seamless and infectious, and our music columnist Errol Nazareth says the party continues on the group's latest album, "La Rumba So Yo". The mix is wicked but it's the depth of their fusion that's impressive. For this album, Lemvo decided to go back to his roots. So, this time around, he mixed in the accordion-driven semba, which is one of Angola's most popular styles, as well as kizomba, which is also the name of a dance that's been enjoying a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. And he funked up a few traditional Angolan songs, as well.

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Errol's Pick

When you think of music from the Balkans, there's a good chance you think of accordions, violins and brass instruments. Our music columnist Errol Nazareth discovered a band from Hungary called Sondorgo that uses a little known instrument called the tambura, a small fretted instrument similar to the mandolin. "Tamburocket: Hungarian Fireworks" is the name of their latest CD and the band's repertoire includes a few original pieces but the majority of the compositions were collected by Bela Bartok, the legendary Hungarian pianist and ethnomusicologist. Take a listen and you might agree with critics who have hailed them as one of Europe's most versatile and exciting bands.

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Errol's Pick

Seun Kuti, the son of the iconic Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, and his big band Egypt 80 pull in to the Phoenix on Saturday. Here's your chance to hear Afrobeat done live and done very well. Fela Kuti's songs often ran for a good half hour or longer but his son keeps things tight and fast on "Long Way To The Beginning", the band's latest CD. If there is one similarity he shares with his dad, it is in the targets of his lyrics. Seun takes on the International Monetary Fund in no uncertain terms on the song "IMF". "Black Woman" is an ode to African women and "African Airways" is a parody of the African economic system. And in other songs, he takes on corruption, dictators and economic inequality. He's as fearless as his dad and has expressed interest in becoming the president of Nigeria one day.

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