Susu Bilibi: Dziwo nefa

World music has opened our ears to once-obscure global corners. We don’t often hear music from Togo, a humble geographical blip of a country in west Africa, but now comes Susu Bilibi’s Dziwo nefa (Cross Currents 50002; 42:46), the first release on the new world music label. While the group uses some traditional instruments, the main musical thrust is a kind of loose, funky urban Afro-pop sound, replete with some cheesy synth textures amidst the undulating rhythmic intensity. All-for-one vocals and propulsive drum foundations are adorned with more western touches of keyboards and saxophone, in an Afro-Euro-American crossover that is less polished than it is rough and spirited.