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Africa - Released June 19, 2020 | No Format!

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The aptly named Acoustic shows us a stripped back side of the queen of Malian song. Recorded in live takes over two intense days in the studio, she revisits her 2017 album Mogoya for the third time which, the following year, was remixed by the likes of St. Germain, François, The Atlas Mountain and even Spoek Mathombo. There is no electronic interference here, just Guimba Kouyaté’s sensitive guitar, her faithful musical companion Brahima "Benogo" Diakité’s kamélé n'goni and Vincent Taurelle’s organ and celesta, which were involved in the original album, enveloping the diva’s unique voice and the voices of her backing singers Emma Lamadji and Kandy Guira. The effect is stunning – never has Oumou Sangaré’s vibrant presence felt so close.Driven by this intimate atmosphere, Oumou insisted on adding two very personal tracks to the nine songs on Mogoya - two symbolic tracks from her magnificent career. Originally released in 1993, Saa Magni acts as a tribute to the late arranger Amadou Ba Guindo, one of her earliest supporters. The second added track is Diaraby Nene, without a doubt her most iconic song. Written when she was a teenager, she opens up to the emotions surrounding her first love. Breaking taboos in a traditionally patriarchal society, she’s made a few enemies but has also won the unconditional support of the younger generations and has become a leading voice for feminism, a fight she has never given up on. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz

World - Released May 7, 1993 | World Circuit

A strong set of all-original material that has its cake and eats it too. With unobtrusive electric guitar and bass blending in with more traditional instruments like flute and djembe, it's both more accessible to modern audiences than traditional African instrumentation, and not as pop- and dance-oriented as much contemporary African music. The focus remains on Sangare's gliding singing (thickened by a couple of female backup singers) and the music's looping (but not laid-back) grooves. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo

Africa - Released May 19, 2017 | No Format!

Hi-Res Distinctions Songlines Five-star review

World - Released January 1, 1991 | World Circuit

Hailing from the Wassoulou forest region of Mali, singer Oumou Sangare helped modernize the acoustic-native mix of hunters' songs and sogoninkun dance music she grew up with. Finding her way to the city of Abidjan in 1989, Sangare cut a cassette that would eventually sell close to a quarter of a million copies; it became her debut disc, compliments of the World Circuit label. And while she would go on to cut albums with a mix of traditional and tastefully chosen Western elements, Moussoulou captures Sangare in all her sensual acoustic glory. Undulating atop a musical base featuring violin, the djembe goblet drum, a call-and-response choir, and the kamalengoni harp, Sangare daringly speaks out against such traditional practices as polygamy and arranged marriages. She fleshes out these modern views -- for Mali and many other African countries, at least -- with songs that both encourage her countrymen to recognize women as individuals and focus on a girl's struggle to reconcile old values with modern needs. A find for fans of West African folk-pop music. © Stephen Cook /TiVo

Africa - Released February 3, 2017 | No Format!


Africa - Released November 1, 2011 | Ben BD Production - Afrisun Music