This wasn’t really what I was expecting when (I thought) I saw Tshegue described as ‘Afrobeat’ – I was thinking jazzy, musical and upbeat, where this is scuzzy, dirty dance music. Unfortunately, setting me to review this is like a gardener reviewing a computer – but never mind.

Looking again, I realise that “afrobeats” is not the same as afrobeat – the former being a crossover style of dance music originating in Nigeria post-2000. Tshegue is also described in places as Afropunk – but I wouldn’t call it punk, either – although it definitely has a “don’t give a fuck” sort of vibe and an almost confrontational vocal style.

Tshegue is fronted by French-Congolese vocalist Faty Sy Savanet, working out of Paris with producer Nicolas Dacuna and her music is very much focussed on the African diaspora and influenced by the Kinshasa of her upbringing.

The Wheel has a great groove with multiple layers of polyrhythmic percussion. It is not very intense or high tempo and has a fairly laid back vibe, but is really danceable and catchy. Definitely one that would get me on the dance floor (if I ever went to a club).

It’s much more organic than a lot of dance music I’m used to hearing, though, particularly as Tshegue hasn’t sampled and copy-repeated the vocals but has laid them down as a full-length take, giving more development and character throughout the song – even though vocally it is pretty minimal.

The single also comes with a DJ Marfox remix which is more of a house vibe, and which I am less drawn to than the original.

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Chris Oliver

I've been playing bass guitar and guitar for over half my life. I last played bass in in a band called Electromotive and as a singer-songwriter I have written songs about cheese and vajazzles (separate songs!). I started out listening to 60s, 70s and 80s rock as a kid and I was in to grunge and U.S. punk and ska in the 90s. Since then, I've broadened my tastes and I like the best of all styles of music, even country. I've been writing for Silent Radio since it started.