Bibi Tanga and the Selenites 40 Degrees of Sunshine

Bibi Tanga and the Selenites 40 Degrees of Sunshine
Paris-based Bibi Tanga calls his sound "global African music." His vocal style owes a bit to Curtis Mayfield, but it's more complicated than that. If you are one of those hardhearted souls that have consigned funk to historical status, you may notice potentially hoary clichés that any C-list local combo would usually steer clear of, such as some unsuccessfully eccentric lyrics and many references to "the funk." Yet it's all couched inside a grandiose, Luc-Besson-/Fifth-Element-style Eurospacefunk. Each song conjures supermodels strutting down runways. The music is less dreamy than Tanga's previous releases ― the album title refers to the sun as a guiding force in characterising the album's sound ― though Tanga's mysterious sidekick, Le Professeur Inlassable, contributes typically dramatic sampling and string arrangements. Tasty, jazz-y horn arrangements take early '80s boogie grooves to exciting places and then go in a different direction, with the fretless, bass-driven, Afrobeat nudge of "Kangoya." Restraint rules ― only seldom do these songs explode, and it'd thrilling when it happens in tracks like "Do What You Want To Do." (Nat Geo)