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Wan Fambul / One Family

Catalyst for Peace

(Wan Fambul; US: 23 Mar 2012; UK: Import)

This is a benefit album for a larger project—reconciliation meetings between victim and perpetrator in former international warzones, emphasis on Sierra Leone. Send them a donation and they’ll send you a CD. The line-up for this low-profile charity album is formidable—Idan Raichel, Vieux Farka Toure, Dengue Fever—but I was most excited by the inclusion of the Iranian sister-duo Abjeez, whose smooth vocal slide plus strong beat on “Nasle Man” is a bridge between pop and reggae. The compilation starts with rap, softens down to atmospherics, noodles over a bluesman’s problems with Houston, and speeds up again into a track from from New York reggae band Noble Society, who “know who’s responsible” for the troubles in the world. Seriously? Who? “The ignorant ones.” Ah. Bajah + Dry Eye Crew, rapping about the Sierra Leone electorate, have a sharper fix on their target—a sharper fix overall would have given the album a more coherent shape, but that’s charity comps for yiz. Worthy cause, worthwhile album.

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