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“Infused with an authentic energy and spirituality that can be instantly felt by listeners across cultural boundaries”
Comprised of refugees of the horrifying, decade long Sierra Leone Civil War, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have become one of the most successful African bands to cross over to an international audience. The group formed in a refugee camp in Guinea in 2004, and after having their story told in a documentary film, quickly rose to prominence embarking on global tours and performing at major music festivals including Fuji Rock and Bonnaroo.▼ Article continues below ▼
The band’s latest album Libation is a celebration of West African high life music and heritage. The songs feature Fela Kuti-esque Afro beat rhythms, racing Soukous-style guitar lines and uplifting group choruses often sung in one of the band’s six native languages. A number of tracks also showcase dub and reggae influences, melding atmospheric bass-heavy grooves with traditional Sierra Leone baskeda and gumbe rhythms.
The band describes Libation as a return to its roots, employing stripped-down instrumentation and vintage gear to recreate the sound of the music they first played in the Guinean refugee camps. The result is an album infused with an authentic energy and spirituality that can be instantly felt by listeners across cultural boundaries.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
Produced by Chris Velan
Mixed by Iestyn Polson