A Malian and three Texans meet at a bar in London. Toure is on a mission to honor the legacy of his father Ali Varca Toure, sometimes referred to as John Lee Hooker of the Desert, and has brought him to the attention of a new global generation. She clicked between him and the Khruangbin members from the first minute. Admired by their love of universal sounds and their exquisite court, Toure believes he’s found an ideal candidate for his poem to fit into a hip-fitting jacket.
This is of course not surprising. Khruangbin has been composing music influenced by traditional sounds from around the world for several years now. They usually do so successfully; Also collaborating with soul singer Leon Bridges on EPs Texas Moon And the Texas Sun It was appreciated. Meditative funk music is often partly inspired by the desert blues, of which Ali Farka Toure is considered the godfather and an example. They say it themselves in many words to Vieux. It gives him the confidence to work with them and pimp Ali’s songs with a contemporary twist. This leads shortly Why Rasin To a second album he wants to highlight his father’s music.
Ali Farka Toure became famous in our region for his collaboration with Ry Cooder in Modern Timbuktu. This classic has now given the man recognition and applause from a wider audience and therefore this honor cannot be missed. From this recording we hear again “Diarabi”: DJ Jr.’s slow beat. And Mark Speer’s slide guitar, who also plays the conga and synthesizer, gives Tori space for strumpet and freewheeling. It turns the whole into a sentimental song. We’ve known for a while that a guy can play guitar a bit and he’s proven it again Why Rasin. It is not for nothing that he is sometimes called the “Desert Hendrix”, although this indicates his versatility and not a similar sound.
The album is full of Ali covers, which spanned almost his entire career. Vieux chose lesser-known songs like “Alakarra,” a track that swings the record here, to relative classics like “Savanna.” The latter opens the album and immediately makes it clear that Toure and Khruangbin bring not only covers, but real reinterpretations that should provide new impetus. Vieux’s signature guitar welcomes us, after which his raspy sound is immersed in a reggae bath. It’s not desert blues, or at least not as we know it. Khruangbin’s input ensures that musical frontiers can be widely opened.
At first, this creates a refreshing feel, and the funky khrwangbin seasoning seems to be the perfect addition to the meditative turret music. For example, in the slower song “Ali Hala Ababa,” the honey-accompanied guitar is perfectly accompanied by bass anchor Laura Lee Ochoa. However, as the record progresses, the lesser aspects of cooperation become more apparent. Touré’s smooth play and Khruangbin’s waves make everything so smooth, that the album lacks texture. Not annoying per se, but the harsh desert sounds are often overcome. In their zeal and enthusiasm to enrich the music of their tauri, the nuances threaten to get lost in overly saturated instruments, such as during “tongo bara” or “mahini mee”. Vieux’s voice doesn’t have Ali’s emotional depth anyway, so Khruangbin’s treatment often weighs down his somewhat monotonous vocals.
Although the collaboration seemed like a logical idea, we were left in doubts. Khruangbin’s conspicuous character dominates the album, largely missing out on Touré’s intention to put his father’s music on a pedestal. A new audience for Ali, or desert blues in general, wouldn’t attract this. The polished result glides onto the ears very easily, but it lacks originality and depth to impress.
Vieux Farka Touré is coming on November 4 N9 In Eeklo, although there is no Khruangbin.
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