Album: Titi Robin, Kali Sultana – L'ombre du Ghazal, (Naive Records)

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The Independent Culture

You'll need to forgive the fact that this dextrous French string strummer (guitar, oud, bouzouq) is a bit of a meanderer, because the finest moments of this double album are hauntingly engaging.

A cathedral ambience makes Titi's daughter Maria's fragile voice sound even more heartbreakingly lost, and the sparse percussion sound like distant thunder. Otherwise, there's a fervent mix of accordion and clarinet-led Arabic/Gypsy dance music which banishes the chill of the desert night.

Pick of the album: The sturdy and stirring 'Homme fait d'argile'