LA DRIV­ERS UNION POR POR GROUP Klebo! (Voxlox)

Pasatiempo - - Cd Reviews -

Here’s a new gem in the world-mu­sic genre. Klebo! fea­tures the six-mem­ber group La Driv­ers Union and was pro­duced by Santa Fe eth­no­mu­si­col­o­gist Steven Feld. The track “Omanye” is a typ­i­cal of­fer­ing and one of two tracks built around the ag­badza dance rhythm. The in­tro­duc­tion, a sim­ple flute line by group leader Nii Tetteh Boye La, gives way to a joy­ful ca­coph­ony of honk horns and per­cus­sion and then to vo­cals on the theme (ac­cord­ing to the liner notes) of “Let good tidings come; you must re­spect peo­ple!” In a re­cent e-mail from Ac­cra, Ghana, Feld said the tra­di­tion of honk-horn mu­sic started in the 1930s, when truck driv­ers who had flats in ru­ral Ghana at night used their squeeze-bulb horns to scare off leop­ards and other wild an­i­mals. “Af­ter ve­hi­cles with elec­tric horns came in, the driv­ers from the town­ship of La still used their honk horns,” Feld said. “In time, they took them off the ve­hi­cles, added drums and voices and bells, and started to work out this unique mu­sic which is only per­formed at funer­als of union driv­ers in their town­ship.” But this mu­sic is fun! One song has the theme “No­body else’s lover com­pares with mine who loves me like su­gar cane.” An­other is about a fish­er­man’s shout while pulling nets from the ocean: “Hey! You spat into the soup; I will not eat it or I may die!” — PaulWei­de­man

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