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Opika Pende
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The tremendous variety of music that was pressed to shellac discs on the continent of Africa is truly astonishing. Popular songs, topical songs, work songs, comic songs, songs of worship, ritual, dance and praise--the sheer range of musical styles resists any easy categorization, just as African geography itself resists boundaries. "Opika Pende: Africa at 78 rpm" is a four-disc collection featuring 100 tracks taken from rare 78 rpm recordings of African music--from 1909 to the mid-1960s--none of which have ever been issued on CD until now. Across these 100 tracks, traditional music stands side by side with popular music as traditional culture coexists with so-called modernity. Pan-African in scope and wildly diverse, "Opika Pende" is a testament to the deep riches found in early recorded music across the continent. In 2013, this set was nominated for Best Historical Album by the Grammy Awards.
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