Music

CD Shorts: Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate

Comments (0)
Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Faya

(Cumbancha)

A lot of times, genres get mashed up willy-nilly, and the mashers of those genres count on novelty to propel them. On Faya, the genre-mashing feels natural. In this case, two musicians with quite different styles were asked to collaborate as part of a festival in Marseilles, France. Neither was particularly good at the other’s language, so they concentrated on communicating through sound. Sekou Kouyate, from Guinea, is a monstrously good player of the West African harp-like instrument called the kora. Joe Driscoll is known for a folky incarnation of hip-hop, produced in one-man-band fashion via loops. Interestingly, when the two play together, the result often ends up sounding like a cousin of Caribbean music. Kouyate plays blistering, repetitive phrases on the kora, though you’d be forgiven for not immediately recognizing that the sounds he makes are actually from a kora. That’s because he applies some decidedly non-traditional treatments to his sound, things like distortion and wah pedal. The result is equal parts Hendrix, funk, and traditional African. Driscoll offers rapidfire rapping and singing atop the kora and looping, laid-back samples. Though the entire album is entertaining, the songwriting proves its Achilles heel—some tunes don’t take flight, resting on not particularly intriguing, repeated phrases. In its best moments, Faya hits compelling grooves, and Driscoll’s vocals combine beautifully with Kouyate’s virtuosic sonic assault. This continuing collaboration ends up sounding like a crazy melange of dub reggae, rap, and traditional (by way of the Twilight Zone) West African music. It’s well worth a listen for its many unexpected turns.

Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

Nightcrawler: Mane Attraction
White Lion’s Mike Tramp talks Danish folk and diehard fans.
CD Shorts: Traditions
Hanging With GWAR
Mike Tramp visits the Palace Theater; Valley bassist Nate Fay recalls the late GWAR member Dave Brockie.
Behind the Beat: Serenade to a Donkey Jawbone
David Wax Museum brings its Mexo-Americana sound back to the Valley.
Nightcrawler: New England and Overlords
Trio de Pumpkintown primes for Singapore gig at Noho’s Parlor Room; Jesse Sterling Harrison is your (Corson) Overlord.
Nightcrawler: Doctors in the House
Gone By Daylight unwittingly gives Coldplay the cold shoulder; two Saw Doctors come to town.
Behind the Beat: Signs of Intelligent Life
Peter Mulvey performs at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A., Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.