Back in the '80s the three volume collection of Gabonese music l'ANPAC Presente was frequently on our turntable and, dubbed onto C90 cassettes, our auto sound system. Continuing Likembe's presentation of this interesting series, l'ANPAC Presente Vol. 2 (ANPAC AN 400 2, 1984) features a couple of songs that are among our all-time favorites.
Mack Joss is the only musician here known to me, and all I can tell you is that he's been on the Gabonese music scene for a while - at least since the 1970s. "Mounombi" here is a really nice adaptation of Gabonese folklore, as is "Motobetheyi," performed by Pierre Emboni, who in addition to his musical efforts, was a leader of one of Gabon's political parties and Minister of Youth and Sports in the late '90s. "Souviens Toi" by Yvon Dawens is a nice song in the Congo-Cameroun musical continuum, but the real standout of this LP is Obiang Okane's "Dokira," which incorporates the mvet, a traditional musical instrument of the Fang people of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and southern Cameroun. I hope you'll enjoy l'ANPAC Presente Vol. 2 as much as I do:
Download l'ANPAC Presente Vol. 2 as a zipped file here. For those interested in learning more about the mvet, featured in "Dokira," I would recommend Francis Bebey's magisterial African Music: A People's Art (Lawrence Hill & Co., 1975), and also the LP Gabon: Chantres du Quotidien/Chantres de l'Epopee (Ocora 558 515, 1981). The mvet plays a role in traditional Fang society very similar to that of the kora among the Mandinka peoples of West Africa, as an accompaniment to epic ballads, the performance of which is said to last all night. From Gabon: Chantres du Quotidien/Chantres de l'Epopee, here is an extract from one of those performances, performed by Akwé Obiang (pictured below):