Music Reviews

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A.L.A. / Wumni

Wumni - A.L.A.

Documented

There's a lot to be said for home grown talent, even if this Camberwell born dancer, spitter and diva of all trades, who's also Nigerian (because she's lived there for more than a decade it therefore entitles her to have dual nationality)has her foot in many territories - including the US. As confusing as it may seem, this girl's no rolling stone. Wumni's journey through music on her debut album entitled 'A.L.A, meaning Africans Living Abroad, is very clear in what it encompasses. Defined as a combinative reflection of where she's been and what her experiences have birthed, by spending time in all of these places, has proved very favourable and made her a hot commodity in the dance arena. Since leaving behind her Soul II Soul days as the infamous silhouetted dancer of that 'Back To Life' video and being the mainstay of their crew, she then headed to New York, hooked up with the MAW boys Kenny and Louie, as well as helping out the likes of King Britt, Roy Ayers, Osunlade but became most notably a lot more recognised for her work on the Fela Kuti tributes back in the mid-late nineties. It's some of those same Afro house rhythms along with today's broken beat sounds and her unique Nigerian twang and broken English quirkism which her album captures with eloquent expression. Getting you on your feet there's broken beat aplenty to be found in the presence of the politics of "Greedy Body", "Crossover (Commercialism)", while they funky fusions of the Bugz In The Attic's Seiji was responsible for the effervescent percussion and drum production of "Good Foot Charlie". The comical lyrics of "Talk, Talk, Talk" wonderfully marries jazz and hi life as she gets to expressing the nature of man . Deep house tasters "Fanaticals" and "Sweet Lullaby" and the smooth acoustic displays on "Illegal Alien" and a few other choice selections complete this discography of inviting and tasteful collection that's surely been a long time coming.

Marcia Carr, 06/07