Recorded live in Morocco, this aptly titled album centers on Ghania's gimbri (also known as a sentir), some vocals and light percussion. Ghania is a virtuoso on the instrument — the equal of any jazz bassist — creating a dense, dexterous web of hypnotic riffs and improvisations. The muffled chants fade in and out on top, shifting like clouds over the music, as on the lengthy "Moulay Al Arabi," whose pace increases to near frantic by the end. "Salat Ala Nabi" adds a funky turn to its spirituality before heading back to more meditative territory for "Timba Ya Baki." It's about as stripped-down as an album can be, with often only the gimbri's mesmerizing circles of sound to be heard. It's a demanding album, but one with plenty of rewards.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...
By Claire Lobenfeld on 11.29.14 in News
Spice, Jamaica's queen of dancehall, is gearing up to release her debut EP So Mi Like It. With her contribution to Vybz Kartel's "Rampin Shop," another bananas collab between the two called "Conjugal Visit" and her most...
By John Schaefer on 11.24.14 in Reviews
In this 50th-anniversary romp through Terry Riley's In C, a brilliant ensemble of Malian musicians (mostly playing traditional instruments) joins forces with Damon Albarn, the globetrotting frontman of Blur and Gorillaz;...