These soul-stirring melodies and vibrant grooves from the Garifuna community of Central America unite the musical legacies of Africa and the Caribbean to create a powerful saga of exile, longing, hope and celebration. Years in the making, Watina is infused with contemporary influences, yet firmly rooted in the rich musical traditions of this unique and inspiring culture. Belizean icon, Andy Palacio, leads an all-star, multi-generational lineup to deliver a monumental tribute to the Garifuna of yesterday and tomorrow.
* 32-page booklet features full lyrics and stunning photographs. * Deluxe enhanced CD includes "making of" video and a preview of the upcoming Garifuna women''s project "Umalali". * The third release from Cumbancha, the new label founded by the head of music research at Putumayo World Music.
"****. Endlessly satisfying." --Charlie Gillett, The Observer Music Monthly (UK)
"Brimming with Buena Vista-ish elegance and dignity." --The Boston Globe (US)
"A little bit Cuban, a little bit Brazilian, with a reggae lilt, a Cape Verdean melodic lushness and a whole range of African echoes that you can''t quite put your finger on." --London Daily Telegraph (UK)
"A fascinating musical mash-up...Transcendent, infectiously rhythmic music." --Veryshortlist.com (USA)
"There''s a full year worth of listening on Watina... It''s a fantastic recording that makes me thirst for more..." --Bob Tarte, Beat Magazine
"Rampacked to overflowing with amazing music." --Dave Hucker, Beat Magazine
"Superb" --Mondomix (France)
"****. Will spellbind the most indifferent listener." --Irish Times
"Consider this the first must-have album of 2007." --World Music Central
"An immediate world music classic." -Folk Roots (UK)
Palacio is from Belize and his music celebrates a culture called Garifuna, in which indigenous Arawak and Carib sounds, plus West African influences imported during the dark years of the slave trade are twisted around one another like a helix. Over the centuries, fiercely independent tribes-people maintained their identity even as European colonizers relentlessly pushed them from St. Vincent, where the Africans had been shipwrecked and intermarried with the local population, toward the Central American coast. But more recently, the culture had begun losing ground, especially in Nicaragua, a fact brought to Palacio''s attention when he visited that nation as teenage literacy advocate. His impassioned espousal of his birthright began when he got involved with punta rock, a synth-and-drum-machine-driven dance style popular during the 1990s. The present album represents a return to his roots. Blended Native, African and Latin exhalations create softly pretty, simply constructed, yet indelible melodies while percolating, hypnotic rhythms, some of which are anchored by a prominent Afro-Cuban clavé, get everyone moving. The songs are sung exclusively in the Garifuna language and built around folkloric sources like the ritual-based dügü. There''s not a false note anywhere in earshot but "Yagane", a seafaring tune composed by and performed with Paul Nabor, a septuagenarian buyei (spiritual healer), is one stand-out; the delightful title track is another. The CD is enhanced with videos and other extras. --Christina Roden
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