V/A – Sound Affects Malmaison (Volume 1 Africa)

This is not the first afrobeat compilation, nor is it even the first to feature remixes by well-known DJs but you do get an eclectic selection of afrobeat classics and there are big guns aplenty on the remix CD including Paul Oakenfold

Sound Affects is the latest project from Bottletop, a unique charity that uses fashion and music to raise money for local organizations in developing countries. By utilizing local knowledge and groups, they hope the money they raise will get to where it is needed. It is certainly an approach that many including Baaba Maal have been putting forward as an alternative to the ‘Big Projects’ way of doing things.
‘CD 1 – The Originals’ features tracks from artists like Fela traveler Dele Sosimi and rare and unusual gems like ‘Psychedelic Woman’ by Horny and the Bees Band. On the whole these tracks are sparser than say Fela Kuti’s own work. It does underline how far ahead of the pack the man with death in his pouch was. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable ride through obscurity.
On the second CD, the spaces left in the tracks by intention or otherwise provide the remixers with a fantastic opportunity to fill in the gaps, update the beats and make fresh modern dance music with an afrobeat twist. And it can only be a good thing when someone as well known as Paul Oakenfold gets hold of a track and gives it a shine.
And the remixers have not just put in the minimum necessary, there are some really interesting treatments of tunes like Radio Slave’s tripped out ‘Yuda’ or Quantic’s psychedelic remix of ‘Bukom Mashie’. All of which were done for free and without the benefit of having the tracks nicely separated out for the remixers to work with.
So this is not an album for afrobeat-freaks really and even less so for the traditional world crowd. It is a stepping stone into some great music for dance fans tired of the same old same old.
Link: www.bottletop.org.uk

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