Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CD Review: Music From Niger

Malam Maman Barka
Guidan Haya
Beauty Saloon Music

The traditional music of Niger is brought to life by the gurumi strumming and earthy vocals of Malam Maman Barka. He is the master of the gurumi, a two-stringed instrument with a gourd-resonating body. He is accompanied by Oumarou Adamou on traditional drums (douma and kalongu). This recording features Malam's vocals, his gurumi, and percussion without the use of fancy electronic wizardry or modern rock arrangements. The music is so genuine and mesmerizing that it does not need any embellishments. This is a high quality recording that is intriguing and inviting, despite it's stripped down nature. In essence, this is Nigerien music at its finest. Overall, Guidan Haya is a perfect recording for listeners of West and North African music, including the late Ali Farka Toure, Mamar Kassey, Tartit, and others. Thanks to producer Nathaniel Berndt, the music of Niger is now one step closer to everyone's ear. ~ Matthew Forss

No comments: