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Africa    Issa Bagayogo    World Music at Global Rhythm - The Destination for World Music
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World Music CD Reviews Africa

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Issa Bagayogo
Mali Koura
Six Degrees Records
By Ernest Barteldes

Published September 18, 2008

This Malian's inspiring story of hard times, addiction and recovery would make for a great back story even if the music was below par, but as usual this is not the case. On his fourth disc since reinventing his career in the mid-90s, Bagayogo continues to expertly mix elements of dub, funk and electronica into traditional West African music. One tune that immediately grabs your attention is “Tcheni Tchemakan,” a ballad with subtle jazz touches via the piano and brass arrangement. Another highlight is “Filaw,” an uptempo tune that is sure to be hitting World-friendly dancefloors thanks to its careful mix of electronic and organic beats. Also worth checking out is “Poye,” which best showcases the interaction between Bagayogo's six-string ngoni (a kora-like instrument) and Mama Sissoko's electric guitar.

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