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Album Review

N'Faly Kouyaté is the energetic kora player with Afro Celt Sound System, which fused firm links between Africa, Celtic music, and techno. He's hardly alone for this solo album, backed by the technically very able Afro-European band Dunyakan. Unfortunately, for much of the disc, the musicality is eclipsed by the musicians seeing just how busy they can be — the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink approach becomes wearying after a time. That makes the three-track interlude in the middle especially welcome, the all vocal "Niyo," for instance. It might be densely arranged, but it comes as a breath of fresh air, as does the drumming of the following cut, "Atypical Conversation," or the gentle "Kobiyé." That said, the attempt to blend the kora with a string section on "Kora Ballade" never quite works because of a horribly simplistic arrangement. At times this ranges into the overblown — did "Love Hyppo" really need phasing? — when more of Kouyaté's superb kora work and high griot vocals would have been much better. It's a shame — there's potential here, but it's wasted by a lack of direction.

Tunya, N'Faly Kouyaté
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: 17 May 2008

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