Sunday, August 4, 2013

CD Review: Sorie Kondi's 'Thogolobea'

Sorie Kondi
Thogolobea (Famous)
Dutty Artz

Born blind, Sorie Kondi does not let that deter him from making music. Born, raised, and based in Sierra Leone, Sorie manages to create scintillating tunes on the cheery and tinny mbira or thumb piano. There is a back beat that is highly contemporary and reminiscent of the Congolese funk sounds of the 1970s and 80s. There are backup vocals and bass-driven and drum-infused tunes that are vibrant and moving. Sorie's great vocals, which are indicative of Oliver Mtukudzi's, fill in the music with such an organic presence that it is borderline iconic and infectious. There are nine tunes in all. Each tune has a funky, rumba-like presence that keeps the feet moving and human bodies in dancing unity. Thanks to American, Luke Wasserman, Sorie's music is now a reality for an international crowd. Released on Dutty Artz, Sorie presents an addictive mix of modern sounds and traditional instrumentation that does not disappoint. Thogolobea, which means 'famous,' is aptly-titled and not far from the truth. ~ Matthew Forss

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