Asa Started a Fire on the Mountain

asaBorn in Paris but with Lagos, Nigeria, called home since the age of two, comes Asa (pronounced Asha), an artist with an album so refined, you’d think it was her greatest hits, but it’s not, it’s in fact her first! She’s been given a huge amount of profile on the World music circuit, but that alone is not deserving of the attention this artist should be receiving, as she’s a talent of subliminal quality.

A voice that harks back to the days of Tracey Chapman, but combines this with the dryness and subtlety of Tanita Tikaram is just the opening images this artist conjures on a first listen to her album. The first track ‘Jailer’ has the bassline and uproaring goodness of a track by the late Bob Marley. With Reggae, souful and acapella grooves, this is album that lifts the soul and takes you to better place.

Tracks such as ‘360degrees’ offer more by the way of reflection for listener, while the acapella on ‘Subway’ will just make you stop whatever you’re doing to enjoy it. The most airplay has been laid on the track ‘Fire on the mountain’, but it’s not a representative sample of this artists calibre and dynamism.

You need to go and buy this album!

Let the women reign, Garifuna style!!

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The Garifuna people are descendants of shipwrecked African slaves that intermarried with Carib and Arawak Indians of the Caribbean. The people can be found in small villages along the Caribbean in the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

In the face of globalization the Garifuna are trying to maintain their culture and traditions in the face of this change. Because this is an album featuring a collective there are a superb range of voices covering different tones and transmitting different emotions.

This female collective uses electric guitar as well as percussion typical to the Caribbean islands. The results are a sound with a softness and quality, and the fusion of African and Caribbean styles makes the album stand out from the crowd. The album’ best track “Hattie” recounts the story of Hurrican Hattie in 1961. It’s complete and utter spine-tingling material, Sarita providing the vocals and a backing featuring a rolling guitar riff and which then leads into Pulp Fiction style basslines.

Check it out here