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Extra Golden Hera Ma Nono

In a world both globalized and rife with xenophobia, some musicians need a visa just to rehearse. Such is the case with Extra Golden, the musical handshake between a few D.C. indie rockers and Kenyan benga musicians that was nearly buried with singer and co-founder Otieno Jagwasi's death in 2005. But Extra Golden's concept was, perhaps, too perfect to end: Kenyan dance rhythms injected with indie-guitar sensibilities. Hera Ma Nono proves they were right to soldier on. On "I Miss You," for example, the weeping steel guitar meshes seamlessly with its sparkling hi-life counterparts. Hera Ma Nono ("Love in Vain") is as culturally appreciative and exciting a cross of two cultures you'll hear this year.

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