Album: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, I Speak Fula (Out Here)

Andy Gill
Friday 18 September 2009 00:00
Comments

Bassekou Kouyate's follow-up to the acclaimed Segu Blue has an energy indicative of the live performances of his band Ngoni ba, where the four ngoni lutes stir up a storm of sparkling notes, reflecting both the twinkling, cyclical cascades of Mali's classical kora music, and the earthier, desert-blues style popularised by the likes of Ali Farka Toure.

The latter's son Vieux brandishes his late father's guitar to spellbinding effect on a couple of tracks, while Kouyate's old boss Toumani Diabate sits in on kora for a couple others; but it's the interplay of the ngonis which drives this music along. It's perhaps the form of African music most approachable to western rock palates. But there's no comparison between these delicately interwoven lines and the tortuous knotting of most rock guitar riffs. The songs follow the Malian griot tradition of praising elders and forebears – and even Bassekou's own wife, the band's singer Amy Sacko, in one track – and promoting traditional values including virginity ("Tineni"), women as nurturers ("Musow"), good upbringing ("Ladon"), and in "Jamana Be Diya", extolling the virtues of harmony, peace and progress, citing the example of Barack Obama in America.

Download this: I Speak Fula, Jamana Be Diya, Musow, Torin Torin

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in