Thursday, March 8, 2012

CD Review: Mounira Mitchala's 'Chili Houritki'

Mounira Mitchala
Chili Houritki

As a follow-up to Talou Lena (Marabi, 2008), Chili Houritki, which means, "independence," is an album that builds upon the traditional roots and rhythms of Chad's great musical resources. "Choukrane" is a Sai tune, while the title track is composed in the Bilala ethnic style that celebrates African female independence. A host of other tracks highlight various beats and styles, including n'gandja, guissesse, kidi kotoko, meund, kidi gourane, klaguu, nielim, gourna toupouri, mbong, toumtoum, and gourna. The overall sound is upbeat, contemporary Afro-pop that is rarely heard beyond Chadian borders. The music incorporates guitars, bass, shakers, calabash, kora, udu drum, and assorted percussion throughout the twelve tracks. Pleasant melodies, backup vocals, and sparkling instrumentation driven by historical traditions even contain some ululations and hand-clapping. At any rate, Chili Houritki is a long-awaited sophomore release from Chad's Mounira Mitchala. ~ Matthew Forss

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