Thursday, March 24, 2011

CD Review: Kouame Sereba & Erik Wollo's 'Bako'

Kouame Sereba & Erik Wollo

The Norwegian-based, Ivory Coast singer, Kouame Sereba, continues his unique ambient afro-beat style of music on Bako (The Travel). The electronic accompaniment and guitar work from Erik Wollo adds a more contemporary feel to the album as a whole. Keep in mind the music is not trance or techno. It is not rock either. The contemporary sound is more indicative of Sa Dingding's Harmony (Wrasse, 2010) or Huun Huur Tu's Eternal (Electrofone Music, 2009). The modern beat of "Ha Yah" and "Kilimanjaro 2" reflect some of the Real World label productions in scope. Even though the musicians are based in Norway, the music of Norway is virtually nonexistent on this mostly African music release. Of course, it still contains the electronic blurbs, catchy melodies, and percussion familiar to most Europeans, North Americans, and Africans. The more solemn "Koloyni" and "Mameri" represent a softer side. Nevertheless, Bako is an excellent journey of modern instrumentation and traditional vocals that bridge together continents and one another with amazing results. ~ Matthew Forss

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