Artist: Papa Wemba
It seems that Papa Wemba is almost as proficient in picking trendy producers as he is in choosing his cutting edge clothing. For EMOTION, his first Real World album, he worked with Stephen Hague, the producer of groups like New Order and Erasure. On MOLOKAI, his second outing, his producer of choice is John Leckie, the man behind Radiohead and the Stone Roses. MOLOKAI is a live studio performance of some of Wemba's strongest tunes - which in some cases have been given an added contemporary gloss. Featuring no overdubbing or extensive studio work, the album was designed to capture the exuberant energy of Wemba's live performances. Latin-esque rhythms percolate in the background, amid a busy atmosphere of guitars, synthesizers, congas and what sounds like a kalimba. Highlights include the festive salsa track "Epelo" and "Excuse Me," an a cappella song that shows what a powerful voice Wemba has.