Thursday, June 02, 2011

SIDI TOURE & FRIENDS - Sahel Folk (Thrill Jockey)

Sidi Touré seems to have been around for some time, although it appears that 1996’s extremely well-received Hoga might have well have been his only previous international release. Sahel Folk is a far mellower album than its distant predecessor, recorded in Sidi’s sister’s house with a group of acoustic guitar-playing friends. There is a nice, as-live down-home feel to the recordings, each of the four guitarists supplying subtly varying crisp, circular plucked motifs (as the title suggests, Sidi hails from the dry, sparse northern part of Mali). On an album where the clarity of the (post-)production on these mid-tempo jams renders each track full of its own distinct character and mood, the handful that either feature the parched, insistent textures of Jambala Maiga’s kuntigui monochord guitar or Jiba Akolane Touré’s transcendant vocals probably stand out most. Well worth repeat plays.

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