Various Artists Tumbélé! Biguine, Afro & Latin Sounds From the French Caribbean, 1963-74
In the landscape of re-released indigenous pop, the Caribbean sticks up like Mount McKinley—the briefest trend from the tiniest island can quickly be deemed box-set-worthy. Yet throughout all those calypso/ska/soca/reggae/etc. compilations, Soundway Records has managed to come up with something not only original, but exciting to chin-stroker and rump-shaker alike. Tumbélé! collects music from Francophonic islands such as Guadeloupe and Martinique that slinks Paris-café style while still shaking with Afro-Latin rhythms. Highlights include Raphael Zachille's "Manzè Mona," with languid horns gliding over a driving beat, and Lola Martin's "Edamise Oh!," which, like so many tracks on Tumbélé!, is as ready for the floor today as it was four decades ago.
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