Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Africa Remix: Ah Freak Iya [Milan, 2005]
Where usually Afrocomps look backward, this one is 21st century. And while most of the names are familiar, only five of the 16 tracks are in my collection, with all except Orchestra Baobab's improved by this cross-continental mix. Nor are the prime attractions the old reliables--Oumou's remix, Youssou's Senegal-only track. Far more striking are the radical techno-soukous by the son of a Franco guitarist, the Kinshasa rap with four names on it, Malouma's Mauritanian breakout, orthe Mariem Hassan & Leyoad wail somehow left off the Sahara comps. Things in Africa are probably no better than you think. But Afropop lives--hard, but undaunted. A-