Kana Entre Frères…

Reggae is huge in France, much bigger than here. With acts like Linton Kweisi Johnson touring regularly, and the large influx of African reggae musicians, both living in and touring the country, it seems to be the European Mecca of the stuff. That is why it is not surprising to hear this excellent reggae album from France's seven-piece Kana. Singing in both French and Spanish, this group has struck upon a rock solid combination of roots reggae and Cuban/Spanish dance music. While the subject material is not always profound, (songs like "L'escargot," in which the singer compares himself to a snail) many of the tunes ("Plantation" in particular, and the political "BlaBla") have a anthemic quality about them that make you want to stand to attention and sing along — even if in many cases you don't know what you are singing about. Instrumentation is key here — somebody must have stolen "I Shot the Sheriff"’s clavinet for "Pourtant Sur Terre" and the horn section might have done a stint in the south of France playing numbers from Buena Vista Social Club. The tracks where reggae and Spanish come together have a deep mine of music to draw from and Kana make the most of it. (Pama)