Archive for June 25th, 2008
Famoro Dioubate is the virtuoso balafon-ist (African xylophone) of this group Kakande, and with Dununya releases to the rest of the world a glimpse of this rich African traditional music mixed with modern western instrumentation. From the opening track “Kakande” to the ending track “Temedi Kota,” the lush orchestration envelopes the listener with charming melodies and plenty of energy. At the forefront is Dioubate’s virtuoso chops on the xylophone. Swirling around it is a mix of backing vocals, flutes, strings, bass, guitar, drumset. Even though I don’t understand the lyrics, the booklet insert explains the meanings behind each track, revealing a flair for storytelling, dealing with the subjects of community, positivity, and tradition (vague and trite words, perhaps, but go pick up a copy and check it out yourself). The music is simultaneously familiar and strange. The scales are similar to that of western music, carried by modern instrumentation along with jazz-structured progressions (choruses, solos, etc). The languages of Malinke, Susu, and Jakanke that are featured on the release bring a fresh change to the staleness of ensemble band music.