A blog about arts and societies around the world

Amadou Diagne and the sounds of Morocco

The World Music Network camp is never short of inspiration when it comes to discovering new music. Among their latest releases, the Rough Guide to series explores the sound of Morocco while the Senegalese virtuoso Amadou Diagne makes his debut.

The Rough Guide to the music of Morocco is a solid snapshot of the four corners of Morocco, blending older and newer artists. From gnawa to rap via funk and every single genre in between, this compilation gives a comprehensive view of what you could hear in the streets of the Maghrebi country.

The opening track by Fnaïre “Sah Raoui” is a pumping start to the album. It’s a fusion style that could be aptly called traditional rap. London based DJ U-Cef showcases another mix of classic and modern urban sounds. The excellent track “Boolandrix” is the result of an imagined collaboration between Jimi Hendrix and the contemporary gnawa master or maalem, Said Damir.

Old Morocco is also there thanks to the efforts of artists such as The Master Musicians of Joujouka. Samy Elmaghribi’s meditative track “Mal Hbibi Malou” is driven by his classically inspired voice which is accompanied by a haunting violin and percussion.

Amadou Diagne first caught my attention after winning the World Music Network’s “Battle Of The Bands”. Hailing from the griot tradition of Senegal, his first album surely won’t go unnoticed. A keen drummer since the age of four, Amadou’s approach to music is deeply influenced by his background. This can be heard on the way he slaps the guitar body or his understanding of the kora that perfectly blends in throughout the album.

The rhythms of sabar drums and the typical pentatonic harmonies of the stringed lute, the xalam, create a profound and unforced music. It’s infused with touches of blues, African jazz and Senegalese heritage.

The Introducing series had previously unearthed talented African artists such as Etran Finatawa or Daby Balde. Amadou Diagne follows this fine tradition.

Another double thumbs up for the World Music Network.

Out today on the World Music Network.

The video of the Amadou Diagne’s song “Senegal”:

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1 Response »

  1. Such an authentic clip, very cool.

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