Two years after winning the RFI Découvertes award, Ugandan singer Maurice Kirya unveils the expression of his artistic musings with The Book of Kirya, a soul album bearing snippets of Africa.
Salif Keïta’s new album, Talé, put together with Gotan Project’s Philippe Cohen-Solal in Bamako, moves away from a pure “club” sound and takes its listeners into electro lands. RFI Musique spoke with the Malian musician.
The Malian twosome Amadou & Mariam are back with a new album, Folila. With its roots firmly planted in Mali, the collection takes added inspiration from some of the couple’s international alliances, and in particular Français Bertrand Cantat.
There are times when you need a helping hand to reach a new milestone. To put together his fourth album, Nimissa, Guinean singer and musician Ba Cissoko was assisted by reputed producer Philippe Eidel, who has managed to draw out each song’s potential and assure some ship-shape production.
As well as playing with an array of Mali’s contemporary music-makers, Makan Badjé Tounkara has carved out a space to share his own stories, which he narrates under his name in a second album, Sodjan. His academic yet modern playing of the ngoni, the string instrument played at the royal court for centuries, leads him irresistibly into the land of the blues.
The prolific artist Franco, who died in 1989, is still a central figure in Congolese music. The compilation Guitar Hero pays tribute to the rumba giant with an unusual collection of songs remastered with debateable dexterity.
Propel Africa into the future instead of rehashing the past: that’s the principle that Damon Alban has tried to develop with Kinshasa One Two, an album by the DRC Music collective, made up of Western producers and Congolese musicians. The intention is commendable and clearly sincere, but tends to get tangled in its own web.
With an appetite for learning almost as big as her vibrant personality, the Malian Fatoumata Diawara has modestly slipped out of her actress persona to inhabit her new role as a singer. The simplicity of her first album Fatou translates her desire to stand forward unadorned.
Cape Verdean Music
Among those Cape Verdean artists whose career has reached international heights, Tcheka occupies an unusual, almost paradoxical place, both avant-garde and a bit in the shadows. At 38, with his album Dor De Mar, the former winner of the RFI Découvertes Award maintains his position without managing to completely override a frustrating feeling of under-exploited potential.
Their third joint album, In Trance, takes British guitar hero Justin Adams and Gambian musician Juldeh Camara one step closer to perfect alchemy, and give us a lesson in groove and trance.