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Pierre Akendengue
Obakadences
Mélodie, France

cd cover The opening paragraph of the Radio France Internationale biography sums it up: "Because he is impossible to classify, Gabon's Pierre Akendengue has never yet enjoyed the recognition and success he deserves. He is nonetheless one of the most talented and complete artists of his generation. His 1982 'Epuguzu' was THE African song of the 1980s. With his 1995 'Lambarena' he achieved a perfect North-South synthesis. It is high time that the public at large discovers him."

Listen!
Excerpt - MP3
Well, this album provides the ideal opportunity. As one might expect from a Sorbonne-educated intellectual, Akendengue's songs have depth and meaningful content with excellent musical backing, but they require repeated listening for the full subtle irony, poesy and musicality to be appreciated. The title, according to Akendengue, "is a concept signifying the cadences of an obaka (a wooden triangle which one strikes with two sticks), the aim being to promote the use of this instrument." He goes on to point out "the radical KA like its derivatives (KE, KI. KO, KOU, KU) is a moneme frequent in organology and negro-african music." Don't let this put you off, even if you understand it! - William Bain

Available at cdRoots


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