I can’t say I’m particularly au fait with the world of African pop music, so I found myself a little out of my depth when I somehow ended up discussing the subject with Wave Pictures frontman David Tattersail on Tuesday night. Fortunately he threw me a bone, pointing me in the direction of Conogolese rumba pioneer Franco (no, not the dictator), and Zimbabwean guitar-pop band Four Brothers (who were forbidden from singing in their own language until the country became independent). He also mentioned a more recent 7″ from Kenyan artist Nguuni Lovers Lovers – but despite the distinctive name I managed to totally forget what he was called, until I happened to see him crop up on Huw Stephen’s twitter feed (thanks Huw!). He makes super-chirpy Afro-pop with the kind of sparkling guitars that pretty much just scream SUNSHINE. But don’t take my word for it, have a listen:
Even on a slightly overcast day like today, I found myself smiling – in fact, I think I can see the sun coming out already. I think the video gaming geek likes the fact that this sounds a bit like Mario music somehow – or perhaps more accurately, the music that the Mario games probably drew on for more tropical themed levels. One thing I often struggle with is non-English-language lyrics, but in this case it feels like understanding the actual words is secondary to the general atmosphere of the track – which is to say that it sounds like a pretty fun party regardless. Moshi Moshi Records obviously thought so, as they set up a new imprint, Dream Beach Records, specifically to promote this sort of thing – so keep an eye on them if African music is your cup of tea.
‘Chez Ngoma’/’Beth Kathini’ 7″ is out now on Dream Beach Records.