Mory Kante Sabou

Mory Kante Sabou
Mory Kante was the first African artist to sell a million singles of his dancefloor stormer "Yeke Yeke” in 1988. This was, in its day, a landmark release that, for the music industry, proved that "world music” sounds could seriously cross over with pounding, synthesised beats. Buena Vista Social Club changed the game several years ago with a more mature, acoustic production. Current industry and market demands behoves artists to create albums in that vein — seemingly a rejection of fusion and embrace of tradition. Of course from an artists perspective, it’s never so simple. Kante, a Guinean griot who’s been fusing styles and inventing new instrumental concepts for his music throughout his entire career, has embraced the acoustics on Sabou, but like the recent discs of Salif Keita, Baaba Maal and Youssou N’Dour, the production is extremely progressive. He’s able to conjure up everything from contemporary Jamaican production to deep house rhythms using acoustic ingredients. The production excels in the low end, providing exceptional balance and space for a number of different drums to propel tracks like "Kenkan” and "Biriya”. On this foundation, he rolls out labyrinthine Guinean polyrhythms of metal scrapers, flutes, balafons, kora and much more — often played solely by himself through overdubs. Kante has made one of the finest albums in this hyper-roots style, with tracks that would mix seamlessly into any Osunlade or progressive Masters at Work tunes, while satisfying the new acoustic demands of world music fans. (Riverboat)