sat 13/07/2024

Album: Les Amazones d'Afrique - Musow Danse | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Les Amazones d'Afrique - Musow Danse

Album: Les Amazones d'Afrique - Musow Danse

West African feminist collective blend sweet harmonies with gritty electronic sounds

Sisters still doing it for themselves

This year marks ten years since Les Amazones d’Afrique first came together in Mali under the guidance of those giants of African pop, Mamani Keȋta, Oumou Sangare and Mariam Doumbia. It also sees the release of their third album, Musow Danse – but things are hardly business as usual, instead building ever higher on their infectious sound.

Alongside the familiar voices of Mamani Keȋta, Fafa Ruffino and Kandy Guira, this new set of tunes sees the feminist collective welcome aboard new members Nneka, Alvie Bitemo and Dobet Gnahoré, as well as the production talents of Jacknife Lee. This doesn’t herald a complete reinvention of the band’s sound from when it was overseen by Doctor L though. Jacknife Lee does push electronica sounds to the fore even more than on their previous album, Amazones Power, with 808 bass sounds, glitchy synths, hip-hop grooves and trap beats. But Les Amazones d’Afrique’s vocals are still a vibrant rainbow of powerful harmonies, taking on subjects like women’s rights and freedom of expression sung in a host of languages commonly found throughout West Africa.

“Mother Murakoze” is a case in point with Alvie Bitemo singing out over dirty electronics, a pulsating bass and banging grooves. Fafa Ruffino’s hip-swinging “Queen Kuruma” and her “Flaws” duet with Mamani Keȋta are similarly lively and will come on like catnip to those who like to set themselves loose on the dancefloor. In fact, if strong women belting out infectious melodies is your thing, you could do a lot worse than immerse yourself in this wild set of tunes. You’ll certainly find it hard to resist going straight back to the beginning when the last notes of closing track “Bobo Me” fade out.

In fact, Musow Danse is a nigh on flawless disc straight out of West Africa that will have listeners feeling the heat from the first bars to the last and that more than stands up to both of the collective’s previous monumental albums.

It is a nigh on flawless disc straight out of West Africa that will have listeners feeling the heat from the first bars to the last


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters