Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bibi Tanga And The Selenites Cross Borders With Dunya

Bibi Tanga is an interesting musician whose musical journey is almost as great as the music he writes. This Parisian via the Central African Republic has taken the long road to get where he is and he has been through enough in his life to write a book(which he does as well), but it's never stopped him from proving that funk is universal and that music is the bridge in which cultures can come together by. With a musical education originating with a "library" of black music that stretched across continents and sounds to finding himself entrenched in the 80's new wave and punk movements, Bibi Tanga has been exposed to a neverending barrage of music that helped shaped him to become the incredible musician he is today.

Having recorded a series of albums starting back in 2000 Bibi Tanga slowly began to make a name for himself when he ran into Professeur Inlassable in 2003. This duo quickly realized they shared the same passion for music and a similar passion for the kinds of music they were listening to. This meeting of the minds would shape and change Bibi's career forever and three years after this chance meeting he relased his second album, Yellow Gauze with the assistance of Professeur. Lending Bibi a source of neverending knowledge of French pop music Professeur Inlassable helped bring another dimension to Bibi's already rich music and allowing it's diversity to become even greater.

Uniting with Bibi's band, The Selenites, Professeur Inlassable together with Bibi, himself, create a sound that sounds like they've just walked out of one the Next Stop Soweto albums from 1975. With jazzy undertones, funky basslines, breaks, and an atmosphere of pure soul, Bibi Tanga and The Selenites album, Dunya, is a fantastic global display of musical prowess. Dunya is fantastic stuff that's complicated and well structured but doesn't sound that way at all. In fact, much of this record feels organic and comes off as something that's an improvised freeflowing expression of culture, politics, and songcraft. Strong musicianship, the ability to understand a groove, socially conscious messages that we can all relate to, and a mixture of languages, including English, French and Bibi's native Sango helps propel this record across borders and cultures.

There's a reason why National Geogrpahic issued this record and after listening to Dunya it's easy to see why; this sound, these grooves, and these songs are universal no matter what language they're in. Dunya is a fantastic record that has as much in common with those Soweto compilations as it does with the pop funk of Jamiroquai and it's this free spirited nature and cross cultural diversity that make it an easy record to enjoy. From the upbeat jump up groove of, "Swing Swing," to the pop sheen of, "It's The Earth That Moves," Bibi Tanga and The Selenites create a cosmic jam of epic proportions on Dunya that illustrates the idea of one world is far from just a dream.

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