PRE-ORDER ‘SIRABA (LP)’ HERE
Malian hunter Boubacar Samake and Damien Vandesande, one half of the French electronic band dOP, have won plenty of plaudits for the early singles taken from their debut album as duo Siraba. Those singles, spanning across the summer months, have found the pair bring the traditional sound of the Wassoulou – a river valley of West Africa – to the electronic world after 20 years of friendship. The music comes with an important underlying message of love and respect and results in spellbinding tracks that move heart, body and soul, finding a perfect home on Secret Teachings – a left-of-centre alternative label to Lazarus’ celebrated and often more club-focused Crosstown Rebels. With the arrival of the full album, the pair exhibit and showcase the emotional breadth and depth of their music, with detailed explorations of organic textures and native sounds merged with future-focused ideas and concepts.
The title track opens with an atmospheric mix of spoken words and spine-tingling chords that bring rich Afro flavours, while ‘Dounoiia’ is a languid groove made from hand drums and pixelated synth leads that cast a fine spell. The slow-blooming ‘Bani’ brings rich Malian blues and melancholic horns, while ‘Komafly’ is a rich mix of acoustic strings and broken beats that transports you to a hot and dusty landscape. A vital component of the sounds of the Wassoulou, the indigenous stringed instrument the Ngoni features again on the rousing ‘Nanse’ as spiritual vocals sung in Bambara rouse the soul.
‘Djandjo’ is another rich infusion of Malian culture with simmering electronics to make for something both ancient sounding yet futuristic, and the hypnotic ‘Ngana Fôlly’ with its rich bass is a song ‘dedicated to those who fight for the well-being of their families, for unity… a song for the people who also fight a great disease, between life and death’. The sublime ‘Toro’ is a wavy groove perfect for sundown – a deep and inviting sound rich in soulful vocals and dreamy melodies, while ‘Tolonawoulile’ is driven by the intense strumming of the Ngoni with busy hand claps and hurried drums and last of all ‘Fo Te Mokobana’ sinks into a heartwarming slow groove with sweeping strings and Malian percussion all overlaid with impassioned vocals.
A rich listening experience, Siraba’s debut album is an immersive journey and absorbing dive into the minds of two artists breaking new grounds while spotlighting native traditions and musical techniques spanning hundreds of years.
Siraba’s self-titled debut LP drops via Secret Teachings on 17th November 2023 via physical and digital formats.
B1) Komô Fôlly
C1) Ngana Fôlly
D1) Tolon Nawilylé
D2) Fô Té Mogobana
Written by: Alejandro Serrano
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