Ostinato Records releases Star Band de Dakar’s most psychedelic afro-cuban tracks

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the cuban revolution, Ostinato Records releases Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal, a selection of six of the most psychedelic afro-cuban songs of the renowned Star Band de Dakar.

In the 1970’s, Afro-Cuban music was in vogue on almost every corner of the African continent. Its seemingly familiar swing as well as the symbolic aura of the cuban revolution made it popular among the youth. “Le Miami” club was the epicenter of this craze, and the theatre of the best moments of the Star Band de Dakar. With just two microphones and a four-track Revox tape recorder, Ibrahim Kassé, Star Band’s founder and owner of the club, recorded their entire catalog.

The band featuring famous musicians such as maestro Laba Sosseh and young Youssou N’dour covered lots of cuban songs while integrating these influences in their compositions. Changüí, Guajira and the Montuno sound where re-interpretated by electric guitars, brasses and Sabar drums. Just as Rumba in Congo, the hybridation between these influences gave birth to a new genre, the Mblax, which became the national music.

With Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal, Ostinato pays tribute to this transatlantic connexion, at a time when Cuba was an ally in African fights for emancipation. Its tropical socialism offered a contestation model to the Senegalese youth against their government, lined up with occidental countries.  But cuban music arrived ahead of the revolutionaries and paved the way for them. Without knowing it, Cuba had already conquered Africa before even stepping on it.

Listen to Star Band de Dakar’s “Guajira Ven” in our African Salsa playlist on Spotify and Deezer.

Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal will be out on February 22nd. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.

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