33. Central African Republic — ‘Tomboka! Tomboka! Music from Central African Republic’ by Jospin Pendere-ye
It isn’t easy to find music from the Central African Republic on streaming sites. This was one of the only few I could find, and as the title says, it seems to consider itself the archetype of Central African Republic music. At the time of writing, all the songs in this album have under 1000 streams on Spotify.
The country ranks as one the lowest in the world in terms of quality of life, and it has been in a civil war for the last decade.
The album gives the impression of having been recorded in just a few takes, there is a spontaneity in it that I doubt has been faked. You feel like you just bumped into the musicians on the album cover and decided to hang around for a bit.
Still, I wasn’t too keen on it. Some of the songs feel too repetitive and long (and not understanding the lyrics doesn’t help). I just didn’t connect to it and I would happily not listen to it ever again. For me, it’s just an ‘ok’ album. However, being from such a troubled country and still being able to do the music you want to do and to release an album, now that alone is worth a listen.