Album: Umalali, The Garifuna Women's Project (Cumbancha)

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The Independent Culture

Ten years in the making, recorded in seaside huts and then put through a complex mastering process, this entrancing LP was powered by the enthusiasm of the great Belizean singer Andy Palacio who died suddenly in January, so it now becomes his posthumous tribute.

And behind all this lies a bigger story – of the Garifuna slaves who were deported from Nigeria in the 17th and 18th centuries, and who then intermarried with indigenous Caribs, to be deported again to an island whence they finally settled in Belize. Propelled onwards by guitar and drums, the effect of these songs is seductive.

Pick of the Album: 'Nibari': to hear the timeless voice of deracinated slavery

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