Like other releases from this top label, Africanism stars top African artists like Jeff Kellner and Joseph Shabalala (of Ladismith Black Mamazo), who contribute compositions, songs, and performances. It also extensively reworks originals by artists as diverse as Shinichi Osowa and Barry Manilow.
This CD puts the roots back in house, and puts them in deep, hard and with feeling. Unlike many house albums, which have the structure for it but not the soul, Africanism II will make you want to dance, and dance hard, until you're burning and wet with sweat.
The mainly joyous, sometimes dark, complex blend of drum rhythms, bits of disco, strong passionate melodic lines, very human vocals and innovative electro are produced without the electronic sheen that makes so much club music cold. Although it starts out bare and builds to a rich mix, the opening few tracks aren't filer. Africanism avoids pretentious skips and unearthly repeats of non sequiturs that have become fashionable in some house circles. It comes in waves that build to euphoric peaks and, barely relaxing, drop back to tight, bare drums for what could hardly be called a rest break.
Although the range of source material is incredibly broad. Yves Cheminada's "Viet Dao" melts via "Kalimbo" into what was originally Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" and "Samurai theme" finishes off on a progressive Japanese flavoured high.
For foreigners, this compilation may be a musical challenge they cannot yet quite rise to. (In fact, a different version of this same CD was released overseas. It was remixed not by Da Vinci - who specialises in the SA market, but by Bob Sinclair. )
For South Africans, Africanism is a homecoming house party you should love more with every beat.
- Jean Barker
WHAT CRITICS SAID ABOUT THE OVERSEAS VERSION
"Perfect for both the dance floor and the lounge room, this is seriously good music."- MissMLP for In The Mix, Australia
"...If you want to broaden your tastes - and let's face it, everyone needs to - then seek out this release."- DJ Harry H. for Gaydarradio
"...it's really terrific to hear the house genre given new life by infusing it with such tribal elements. It's the roots of mankind fusing with the cutting edge of technological dance."- Kristofer Upjohn for Raves.com
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