Africa Express presents EGOLI review – a collaboration to stir the senses

Damon Albarn

Groupe / Damon Albarn 323 Views comments

(Africa Express)
Damon Albarn’s collective decamp to Johannesburg for a rich and rewarding reminder of the eclecticism of non-western pop

Now 13 years in the tooth, Damon Albarn’s Africa Express is a nice idea, an attempt to create a level collaborative playing field between western and African artists, devoid of the patronisation and cultural appropriation that has plagued their relationship in the past. It has had some notable successes, particularly live. Their marathon gigs, featuring everyone from Paul McCartney to Rizzle Kicks, have been widely acclaimed. And there has been clear, lasting benefit to at least some of the African artists involved: Malian desert blues quartet Songhoy Blues obviously owe their success to their talent rather than anyone’s patronage, but they first came to notice outside of the Bamako club circuit after working with Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner under the Africa Express banner.

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