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Radio Salone by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Released: Apr 2012
Label: Cumbancha
Ten years after the end of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war, the Refugee All-Stars look both back and forward. An homage to the role of radio in Africa, especially during war, their third album is steeped in sounds the All-Stars grew up hearing over the airwaves -- funk, soukouss, reggae, Afrobeat -- and recorded on vintage analog equipment (with Antibalas vet Ticklah at the helm). Woven into that warm throwback fuzz, however, is a map of how far this group has come. Tracks like the dubby, psyched-out "Toman Teti" showcase some of the tightest grooves the Refugees have ever assembled.
Rachel Devitt