Rediscovering Retro Gems: A Look at this Week’s Reissued Albums in World Music

In the ever-changing landscape of modern music, we occasionally come across certain unique and original gems that deserve recognition. This week, we’re stepping back in time to rediscover three reissued albums from different corners of the globe that have heavily influenced their respective genres. Read on as we explore the sounds of Malik Adouane’s “after raï”, Sheila & Desmond Majekodunmi’s eco-reggae, and Starlight’s South African disco hits.

A Fusion of Cultures: Malik Adouane’s ‘After Raï’

French-Algerian musician Malik Adouane was a pioneer of a distinctive genre he called “after raï”. Born in Libercourt to an Italo-Celtic mother and an Algerian father, Adouane mixed Oriental and Western influences to create his signature sound. The Parisian label Elmir Records has compiled ten of his most evocative tracks into an album titled After Raï Party, 1992-2008, releasing it on CD, vinyl, and digital formats on January 26th.

  • Unique Sound: Drawing upon his diverse background, Adouane combined elements of soul, funk, house, and techno with traditional North African melodies to produce his groundbreaking “after raï” blend.
  • Legacy Lives On: Recognizing Adouane’s contribution to world music, Elmir Records has handpicked his best works, ensuring new generations can continue to appreciate his innovative creations.

Environmental Preservation through Eco-Reggae: Sheila and Desmond Majekodunmi

Since 1989, Sheila and Desmond Majekodunmi have been promoting environmental preservation and sustainable living through their music. They founded an agroforestry farm in Nigeria and released a record called Green Leaves, urging others to protect the planet for future generations.

  • International Roots: Sheila Andrea Green was born in Guatemala to an Afro-American jazz musician father and a white nurse mother. At age 11, she moved to Nigeria where she performed alongside juju music star King Sunny Ade.
  • Pioneering Talent: Desmond Majekodunmi from Ibadan became London’s first black sound engineer, making great strides in the industry.
  • Supporting Conservation: The British label Soundway Records is reissuing the couple’s album digitally, with proceeds from sales going to the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

Dancing to Disco Beats: South African Duo Starlight

The year was 1983 when the self-titled album by South African duo Starlight made waves across the nation. Comprised of Emil Zoghby and John Galanakis, Starlight gained fame by covering international hits like Sly & The Family Stone’s “Family Affair” and crafting original tracks for B-sides that fueled dance floors across the country.

  • Disco Revival: South African label Afrosynth has now digitally reissued Starlight’s six-track disco record, featuring one cover – “Picnic”, a local hit penned by Sello Mmutung and Keith Hutchinson.

New Blends, Same Vibes

In addition to reintroducing these nostalgic masterpieces to current audiences, these reissues, spanning different sounds and decades, remind us of the power that music holds. From Malik Adouane’s fusion of cultural influences to Sheila & Desmond Majekodunmi’s eco-reggae message and Starlight’s disco revival, these albums represent a unique mix of innovation in world music history.

  • New Life: By reissuing these classic albums, a new generation of listeners and musicians can gain inspiration from the revolutionary blends of style and genre that have left their mark on the global music scene.