Friday, November 14, 2014

CD Review: King Ayisoba's 'Wicked Leaders'

King Ayisoba
Wicked Leaders
Makkum Records

Born in Ghana, King Ayisoba is an accomplished kologo player and vocalist. The kologo is a two-stringed lute with a very organic sound somewhat aligned with a n'goni. The ten-track release features a few guest artists, including Ayuune Sulley, Solomon Abusoro, Zea, Mbo, Banasko, and Isaac. Besides the kologo, the music incorporates other indigenous instruments, including the sinyaka, gulugo drum, doo (horn), xylophone, dondo drum, and djembe drum. The rhythmic vocals and diverse instrumentation produces an entrancing result that is akin to gnawa music. The scintillating kologo is plaintive, energetic, and emotive--all on the same recording. Some of the vocals are similar to some of the Mongolian and Siberian utterances, but that is where the similarities end. This is a distinctly African release that is refreshing and contemporary. Fans of Ghanaian music, North African tunes, and percussion instruments will love Wicked Leaders. ~ Matthew Forss

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