UNCUT - - Archive - JON DALE

Cameroo­nian grooves and prodi­gious dance­floor cre­ativ­ity

Syn­cretic and vo­ra­ciously cre­ative, at var­i­ous turns by de­sign or by ac­ci­dent, the makossa genre orig­i­nates from Douala and its sur­rounds, the largest city in Cameroon and one of the cen­tral geo­graphic nodes of the coun­try. Makossa it­self has a his­tory stretch­ing back to the mu­sic of the Sawa peo­ple, though its im­me­di­ate gen­e­sis comes from the mix of lan­guage – makossa means ‘to dance’ – and the “kossa kossa” re­frain of songs by early makossa group Los Calvi­nos. Makossa reached the wider world thanks to Manu Dibango’s ’72 hit “Soul Makossa” and Michael Jack­son’s use of that song’s chant in “Wanna Be Startin’ Some­thin’”, but with Pop Makossa, the mu­sic’s back­bone is ex­posed – the com­plex­ity of the genre, bring­ing to­gether mul­ti­ple na­tional mu­sics along­side Con­golese rumba, high­life, and later, funk and disco, leads to sin­gu­larly com­pelling, long-form grooves. Mys­tic Djim’s pro­duc­tions, like“Yaoundé Girls”, is psychedel­i­cally hyp­notic, the pro­ducer sourc­ing pure fire from his four-track; Pat’ Ndoye’s “More Love” is like Arthur Rus­sell re­lo­cated on the west coast of Cen­tral Africa, while Nkodo Si Tony’s “Mininga Mey­ong Mese” is lighter than air. Ex­tras: 8/10. Thick book­let with ex­cel­lent liner notes.

Night Comes

Down: De­viant mick Far­ren in Lon­don, 1970

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