My 15th favourite album of the year is probably something you wouldn’t expect to see on Breaking More Waves. It’s an album of music from 350 miles off the west coast of Africa. Furthermore, it’s not new music, although it was released in 2016. It’s also a compilation.
However, I’m making the rules here, not you – and I’ve included compilations before. In fact, Ten by Girls Aloud (their greatest hits album – and boy were there some hits on it) was fourth in this list in 2012.
But before you even get to the music there’s plenty to love about the record. First the title. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t love an album called Space Echo – The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound Of Cabo Verde. It sounds so intriguing.
Then there’s the back story of how a ship carrying Korgs, Moogs and Hammond organs that was headed for Rio de Janeiro became marooned on the São Nicolau island of Cape Verde with the crew vanished. An anti-colonial leader named Cabral asked for the retrieved instruments to be distributed equally among the archipelago’s schools and overnight the young generation of Cape Verde’s population gained access to cutting edge musical electronic equipment and inspired an explosion of newly electrified sounds in the 1970’s. Those sounds can be heard on Space Echo – The Mystery Behind The Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde.
The result is a high energy analogue tropical synth dance party with influences that range from all over the world, not just Africa. And whilst there are electronics on the album there’s plenty of intricate guitar jives, rhythms and grooves to get you on your feet. An album of absolute jams.
Dionisio Maio - Dia Ja Manche