Matt Yanchyshyn is a Canadian reporter for the Associated Press, living in Dakar, Senegal and, apparently, having the time of his life in a town renowned for its live music scene. (I get the sense that Matt generally has a good time in Africa – there’s a very funny article on his site about Nigerians being baffled by his fondness for akpu (fermented casavva flour)…)
Matt is a serious crate-digger, an afficionado of African music old and new, and he’s publishing his best finds on his musicblog, Benn loxo du taccu. Recent posts have featured Ethiopian funk from the late 60’s and 70’s – “Leisure suits, afro cuts and guys running around screaming “baby, why dontchyou come back to me now, you know you want it, baby, you NEED me!” in Aramaic” – and Lee Scratch Perry’s dub collaborations with Zairean musicians Seka Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo.
My favorite posts are the ones on Senegalese rap, including an overview of the 2004 Senegal rap awards. The Dakar sound is pretty amazing – while there’s a heavy dose of American influences, a lot of the best tracks feature kora and hand-drumming, giving Senerap a far more interesting feel than, say, Hiplife, Ghana’s synth-heavy local hiphop. Great stuff, very much worth a listen.
Matt, if you end up finding this post, please consider registering Benn loxo du taccu with BlogAfrica – we’d love to have you as part of the site.