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African Roots - Mantse

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Album Review

While Nii Tagoe is perhaps best known as the principal percussionist for Baka Beyond, this album has relatively little of the fusion that characterizes the supergroup. Here, the focus is on more traditional West African rhythms. Tagoe is Ghanaian, so much of the work is from the various regions and instruments of Ghana, but nonetheless there are bits relating to nearby regions and as far afield as Cape Verde. The style is relatively simple, with complicated drum rhythms forming the core of most pieces and some light guitar and occasional parable vocals over the top. It's a relaxed album for the most part, and a nice introduction to some of the Ghanaian forms for the uninitiated.

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