Adje! Adje!, the new album from Washington D.C. based Togolese Afro-Rock ensemble Elikeh, out May 27, 2010 on Azalea City Records, is a politically charged collection of songs that utilizes guitars, horns, percussion and vocals to create a uniquely distinguishable sound. Coming from Togo, Elikeh's leader, Massama Dogo, is determined to forge an identity for Togolese music in the international music scene. His combination of funk, rock, highlife, and reggae have successfully created a hallmark brand of music all his own.
One of the things I like the most about Elikeh is their conscious decision not to fall into any one category. Elikeh has recently been touted as a modern extension of afrobeat's musical legacy by the mainstream media, and I can see why. The way the guitars play off each other forming polyrhythms and the political overtones of Dogo's lyrics are both reminiscent of afrobeat, but that's simply one element of Elikeh's style.
When Dogo chants Adje! Adje!, he means to say "Watch out! Here they come again - the multinationals and the corrupt governments." Adje! Adje! is music with a purpose. This isn't music to put on in the background, maybe dance a little bit, and feel good. These are songs that challenge you to think, songs that call attention to the injustices of global society especially from an African perspective. This is a soundtrack for a protest, music to make you stand up for that which you believe in.
Elikeh will be performing in the DC metro area in early August and then again at Joe's Pub on Saturday the 28th. Come check them out, but come prepared to stand up and dance.
Adje Adje by afrobeatblog