Published Jan 01, 2006With lively, rich voices, and luscious, plentiful up-tempo instrumentation Frederic Galliano and the African Divas present a live release with so much energy you could use it as an extra outlet in your home. Although I have yet to see one of their much-heralded live performances, the vibe of this release only whets my appetite. The album kicks in with "Agné Barra Ké, a house-based track with the canter of disco, overlaid with the beautifully nasal female voices that add so much of the signature soulful and vivacious presence. The songs 2/4 cascade, the house base and the female vocals are present throughout, but Galliano and the Divas dress and position them in such a way to ensure that both the individual songs and the performance as a whole renews the energy. Mostly frisky with mellow interludes (such as "Yaala Rokou DJamm), the inclusion of harp-like instruments, simple bass lines made of plump dollops of the low-end, and the ever-glorious voices make this release a standout. As a live effort, the recording levels balance the African-electronica musical mélange with the presence of the crowd as reflected by both the hoots and hollers and the performance. It is a cohesive, unique, three-dimensional capture of a performance with a life all its own, which is both rare and invigorating.
What is it about the sound of African music that draws you in? Galliano: There is no one detail, it is an impression. I like music from countryside; I like roots music in African music. I like when its direct, when its strong. I like voices of course, but I like when music tells me a strong story about the country, about the people, the town, about part of life.
How did you balance the sound quality with the capture of the audience vibe to your satisfaction? For me, live is very different from studio. When Im in studio I have some time to think about the track. I know that this is for sitting at home. When I play live, I know that its one time, only one shot during two hours. Thats why live, Im obliged to be stronger, more direct. The impact is different. Im [satisfied] with this album because this is the transcription of the immediate live act, for this album is strictly live, we didnt touch anything. The sound is dirty like this, the energy is like this, the arrangement is like this, you know. The most important [aspect of] my music is not the technical impression, but the feeling and the story and the impression of the live [show].