Thanks to the artwork of Claude Diene, an artist from Mont Rolland, the village Marcel Salem also hails from, 'Les Charognards' looks like a forgotten LP from the nineteen and fortunately the album sounds that way as well. Salem, nicknamed Liga Thiam or "the mute" because he only started speaking age seven, was born as a son of simple farmers in Thiès, a region in the west of Senegal. He is a member of the Serer, after the Wolof and Fula/Toucouleur, the third largest ethnic group in Senegal (Leopold Senghor, the first president of Senegal was Serer), of which a minority professes Catholicism. Before music crossed his path, Salem was a bit of a jack of all trades (cleaner, rice seller, seller of firewood, glazier, mechanic...) and finally even became a local celebrity as a boxer. With 'Les Charognards' ("the scavengers"), on which he alternates between French and his own language Serer, Marcel wanted to send a solid signal to the political caste on the African continent, where power is still often passed on from father to son, resulting in political dynasties who, generation upon generation continue to enrich themselves on the back of the poor (a situation that's becoming a sore in western politics more and more as well). Top tracks: title song 'Les Charognards', 'Ça Suffit Maman', in which he calls on Senegalese mothers no longer to encourage their children to try to get to Europe illegally, 'Leeb', in which he denounces current working conditions and wonders aloud if the time of slavery has returned, and 'Weni Sereel', in which he utters his predilection for local dialects. Finally, a special mention should go to the understated jazzy closing track 'Guereem', the story of a mother paying tribute to her son who hasn't returned from the front (in the Second World War, Senegal dispatched 63000 troops to France, 24000 never returned). Instant afro-reggae classic!