Monday, 9 September 2013

Dibango Settles the Score

The city is abuzz with the Toronto International Film Festival.  Celebrated premières followed by lavish after-parties flood onto the streets as inebriated revellers donning couture stilettos exploit the 4 a.m. extension to our puritanical liquor laws, while human locust armed with telescopic DSLRs vie to capture unobstructed shots of over-rated A-listers.

My curmudgeonly editorializing aside, I'm sure we can all agree that every exceptional movie and every exceptional party requires exceptional music. It then seems befitting this festival season that we feature a soundtrack equally suited for the cinema and the dance floor. And in my case, the solitude of my living room.  

Countdown at Kusini, also known as Cool Red, has been rescued from obscurity, as with so many other blaxploitation films of the 1970s, by a superb score, this one by afrobeat saxophonist, Manu Dibango. Dibango exports his Cameroonian soul makossa style to the locales of neighbouring Nigeria for director Ossie Davis' picture concerning the fictional nation of Fahari (Swahili for splendor) and its violent liberation from colonialism.  

Intended as commemorative gifts for those attending the August 6, 1975 advanced screening in Seattle, only 500 copies of this album were pressed by the film's producers, the African American sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Consequently, these records have become pricey collectables.  But D.S.T. has once again given back to the community by recently reissuing another 500 copies of this scarce classic.

Manu Dibango - Kusini: Countdown At, D.S.T. Telecommunications Inc, 1975.

"Blowin' Western Mind"

"Go Slow Streets"

"Liberation Song"


"Red Salter"


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