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Africa - Released April 9, 2021 | No Format!
This album is a splendid bouquet of strings (Djourou in bambara) composed by Ballaké Sissoko. The kora of this Malian master (Demba Kunda) welcomes and joins with the kora of the Gambian Sona Jobarteh, who also offers her silky voice on the title track. The other instruments that dance with the African harp are the virtuoso cello of his accomplice Vincent Segal, accompanied by Patrick Messina's clarinet, for an improvisation around Hector Berlioz's Jeu sur la symphonie fantastique. Prestigious vocal chords also join the party. The choice of guests is eclectic and tasteful. His compatriot Salif Keita sings like a nightingale on Guelen. Oxmo Puccino pays tribute to his Mandingo roots with his poetic flow on Frotter les mains. Camille brings her magical fever to Kora. Piers Faccini infuses his tender melancholy on Kadidja, which he performs brilliantly in Bambara. The set is completed by a second solo by Ballaké, Mandé Tabolo, situated between the duet with Camille and the other with Oxmo. It all concludes with an unexpected meeting with the Parisians of Feu! Chatterton (Un vêtement pour la lune). The luxurious cast underlines above all the inventiveness and boundless inspiration of Ballaké Sissoko, this immense musician. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2021 | No Format!
From his native Cévennes, Piers Faccini set out for the hills. He saw the blue of the Mediterranean, and explored its shores in his dreams as a musician. He is a modern-day folk singer, who sees beyond his own cultural tradition, builds his songs like others would cook, blending spices and sharing influences. Shapes of the Fall, his seventh album, is sung in English with the mannerisms of American folk-blues (we even come across Ben Harper as a guest on one track). The ever-subtle Faccini sounds like a Nick Drake rejuvenated by spending some time in the fresh air. However this album is totally steeped in the music of North Africa – the deep basses of the guembri, the gnaoua castanets, the versatile oud... The "fall" of the title could refer to something painful and ugly, but taking a plunge can also be picturesque, and might do you good: it can be more like dancing than stumbling. Piers Faccini, one part the Ry Cooder of Cévennes, one part Berber shepherd, makes falling fun. Perfectly produced (the sound is acoustic, vibrant and spacious), these songs inspire a feeling of vertigo, and invite the listener to openness rather than travel. The first track, They Will Gather No Seed, with its changing harmonies and its ritornello structure, is a great piece of musical hypnosis. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz