Various Artists, ‘Opika Pende: Africa at 78 RPM’ (Dust-To-Digital)

One continent, 100 songs, all transferred from old 78s that probably would’ve never made it to CD otherwise. The project is archival at heart — cultural nutrition for well-intentioned first-world folks — but that doesn’t overshadow the joy of the music, which ranges from the comparatively familiar (South African township jazz, Congolese rumba) to obscure-unless-you’re-from-Togo choral music, with splotches of colonial influence and 50 backyard variations on tambourines in between.


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