Cultures Of Soul really have a knack for finding those mislaid musical treasures and here is another, an essential compilation of highlights from Belize’s Bro David. Situated in the Central American hothouse alongside Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Belize is an English speaking nation amongst the ‘hispanoparlantes’ (she was once British Honduras not so long ago). Looking east off her shores across the Caribbean Sea we possibly find most of Bro David’s musical DNA, the islands of the Caribbean being some of the richest musical playgrounds on the planet. Belize was and still is a country overlooked but Bro David hatched a plan to create an identity and sound that was uniquely from his homeland, he called it Kungo (or Cungo).
Drawing on his time performing across the US as a working musician where he played styles from reggae and calypso to rock and funk, Bredda David Obi added the key flavours from his home, brukdown, sambai and paranda, to formulate a new and modern tropical sound.
His first album ‘No Fear’ (1984) was a thunderclap for Belizean music. An indefinable union of hypnotic drum machines, West African guitar forms, the lightness of touch of Trinidadian calypso and the rumble of Sly and Robbie-esque dub. I’m convinced that Bro David would have known ‘D’Hardest’ by the high priest of weird soca, (Mighty) Sparrow and ‘Cungo Music’ included on here, reminds me heavily of Sparrow’s 1980 belter.
Alongside tracks from ‘No Fear’, this first-rate compilation also harnesses the best from his ‘Cungo Musik’ (1987) and ‘We No Wa No Kimba Ya’ (1990) albums. A totally enjoyable trip and I expect to witness some serious getdown whenever tunes such as ‘Dangriga’ blast out of the speakers. Carnival, Belize style.
The album is on sale from 23rd September 2019 - https://culturesofsoul.com/products/bro-david-modern-music-from-belize
REMIX 12” Package released on October 25th 2019 - https://culturesofsoul.com/products/bro-david-modern-music-from-belize (see image below)