Umalali – Tuguchili Elia (Elia’s Father)

After putting together Recession Proof Wallets, I was in desperate need for some cleansing, something calm and uplifting to refresh my poor, tortured ears.  A friend at my day job recommended Umalali‘s Garifuna Women’s Project.  When I heard this album, I was on a bus riding home very late, and it was absolutely right for the moment— very beautiful and crucial Afro-Caribbean rhythm and voice, tunes are short and direct.

The Garinagu ethnic group, made up of people of mixed ancestry (Carib, Arawak, and African people, otherwise known as Black Caribs) from shipwrecked vessels along the coasts of Central America with deep history of resistance to colonization from the French and British empires. We played this song on Mudd Up! with DJ /rupture, you can listen to the show here.  The West African influence here is so heavy, you’ll swear you’re listening to something directly from Guinea or Mali.