The Creole Choir of Cuba Tande-La

The Creole Choir of Cuba Tande-La
With Tande-La, the Creole Choir of Cuba stakes out their place on the roster of Peter Gabriel's label. Thus supported, and with the build-up of international admiration, the ten-member choir (which formed in 1994) finally took up the challenge of recording a debut that would live up to the hype of their live performances. While their old-world laments of ancestral slavery make for morose lyrics, their vocal and percussive expressions are rousing and contagiously empowering. Even without understanding a word, their up-tempo material comes across as rallies to resistance, as in live concert favourite and record opener "Edem Chanté." Featuring endless a cappella layers sung in Creole and backed by Afro-Caribbean beats, their chants build up to an exquisite frenzy of pure emotion, ebbing into calmer verses and then building up again. These thrills are perfectly balanced by "Lumane Casimir," a Spanish-sung Cuban ballad, as well as "Maroule" and "Le Mal de Travay," both soothing folk-hymns offering much-needed empathy to any who share a similar history. (Real World)