Various Nigeria Afrobeat Special

Whereas Soundway has been an early entrant into many of the countries whose music it has compiled (in terms of vintage pop hybrids), it has stiff competition now that it has decided to release an Afrobeat collection. Ever since Fela died in 1997, there has been no shortage of Afrobeat reissues; it takes something more to satisfy an increasingly knowledgeable Afrobeat fan base. So what's to recommend about this comp? The same as any other Soundway comp: thoughtful selection and good pacing. Starting with a seven-inch version of Fela's "Who Are You?," the listener can tell why he was clearly the main man in what was a more widespread genre than is usually assumed. The volcanic energy of Africa 70 and his powerful vocals overshadow everything else on the disc. But each song has its charms: some are more heavily arranged, others have unusual approaches to tuning and instrumentation, and some shuffle along at a slow boil. Even if this doesn't feature 11 slamming tunes in a row, as usual, Soundway makes the experience interesting and diverse. (Soundway)