Black Flower, 2016
There's so much thoughtless cultural appropriation in the decades since Paul Simon's Graceland made afrocentricism mainstream, that it's easy to be overly suspect. Then again, in this era of mass musical proliferation, it's ever harder to draw these lines in the sand. Sure, Black Flower's Ghost Radio is so heavily indebted to 70s-era Ethiopian music my girlfriend thought it was actually the soundtrack to Broken Flowers, but what really matters is not what they've taken but what they've done with it. Rote recreation and repertory performances don't really cut it, anymore. Black Flower spiked their swiped styles with healthy a dose of dub (every englishman's favorite genre glue), giving it a more modern sheen. Overall, it plays well, sitting somewhere between plasticine downtempo and earthy, analogue afro-funk.