Mamj Ras Soul - Lettre Du Continent (FONS Records)

The number of projects Senegalese reggae artist Ras Mamj Soul is involved with can't be counted on the fingers of one hand, but since he met Belgians Dirk Delvaux and Greet Vanrijkel 'Koperen Muntjes voor Nianing' ("copper coins for Nianing"), an organization raising money through placing collection jars at different retailers in Louvain and by organizing all kinds of activities and once started with the support of a local basketball team in Nianing , the native village of Mamj, perhaps the most important. However, these days, 'Tournée Charette' has become the main focus: in essence, this means that Mamj travels from village with a donkey cart and a sound system, raising awareness for a variety of issues with his music. Mamj began his music career in 1996 as a member of Ndongo Yii, a band dedicated to spreading the peace-loving nature of Islam. In 2009 the singer decided to pursue a solo career, resulting in a first long player in 2012 porting the ominous title ("the end of time"). For this sequel, in part realized with the financial support of the Reggae Geel Social Fund, Mamj took to Manjul's Humble Ark studio in Bamako, a guarantee for quality production work. The result is an excellent Afro-reggae album, featuring a wide variety of traditional instruments like the tama, ngoni, kora, djembe, balafon, bolon and soukou. Instead of talking about Jah, in his songs Mamj rather refers to Allah or Mohammed (opener 'Thanks & Praises', 'Ya Moukhamad (Saw)'), so we suspect we should see him rather as Baye Fall, something which seems to be confirmed by a song with that title in the track list of 'Lettre Du Continent'. For 'Talibé De Rue', a song about the dangers in the streets of Dakar, Mamj clearly drew on Phil Collins' 'Another Day In Paradise' for inspiration, 'Sales Terroristes' is an indictment against the extremists hiding themselves behind Islam and thus make life more difficult for ordinary Muslims, but our favorite song on 'Lettre Du Continent' is 'Blacks, Blanc, Beurs', in which Mamj sharply criticizes ex-colonial power France sharply for the way it treats the residents of its former colonies. New African talent with a mission!


Added: Apr 29, 2017