Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Orchestra Marrabenta Star of Mocambique

  • Independence [Piranha, 1992] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Independence [Piranha, 1992]
Said to double-time the traditional Mozambican majika, the marrabenta rhythm no doubt adds crucial subliminal novelty to Afrodance stomps like "Tsiketa Kuni Barassara," but won't signify beyond its cultural boundaries. Neither will the indigenous sources of what sounds from here like a fairly bizarre but not unexpected Afro-European-Asian-Caribbean melange. The hook is the slack horn arrangements announced on "Elisa Gomara Saia," which evoke the nutty jazz of Indonesian gambang kromong though I doubt that's where they come from. The jewel is the preacherly melody of the supposedly unfinished "Nwahulwana." A-