"Malian songwriter and guitarist Sidi Touré returns with Alafia, his third international release for Thrill Jockey and his most focused recording to date. This follows last year's critically-lauded Koďma and 2011's revelatory debut Sahel Folk. With attention from NPR, SPIN and Pitchfork, among others, Touré's musical identity has fully come into its own. Touré deals with the strife and political instability plaguing his home region using the effortlessly broad musical language he's internalized since his youth. Regional styles, including takamba, holley, and abarbarba (the butcher's dance), along with his longtime interest in international music, form the underpinning to Touré's lyrical ode to his country. Recorded between two locations-Nantes, France and Bamako, Mali-during what has become the most contentious political impasse for Mali since the country's independence decades ago, Alafia mirrors the dramatic nature of the situation. Mali is a massive, culturally diverse and largely peaceful nation that is still struggling to maintain order following a Tuareg rebellion in Touré's home region in the North last April. The ensuing chaos that followed led to a coup in the capital, leaving a power vacuum in which Islamic extremists have cast a dark and violent shadow over Northern Mali. While Touré's Gao was under control of Islamic groups, the band recorded in Nantes on the heels of Touré's first European tour. Recording in Bamako took place after the "Sahara Soul" tour with well-known Malian acts Bassekou Kouyate and Tamikrest, while Northern Mali's biggest cities had been liberated. Alafia is marked by these contrasting contexts and the varied mind-frames they imply." (label info)
soon in stock - please pre-order | US| 2012| THRILL JOCKEY | 16.90

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