Vieux Farka Touré – Fondo (8/10)

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Son of the late Ali Farka Touré, we can be thankful Vieux never obeyed his father’s advice to avoid the music business and join the army. On this his second album, rich in heavily reverbed, shimmering, unmistakeably African (Malian, actually) guitar, Vieux Farka Touré showcases an instrumental mastery inherited from his father.

On the best tracks (like Souba Souba) he effortlessly combines a commitment to his Western Saharan musical roots with a love of modern musical forms like blues and reggae which, despite their African roots, are now considered thoroughly Western. Thanks to the widescreen sound and language-barrier ambiguity, many of his songs seem simultaneously mournful and celebratory. Great stuff.

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