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Album review

Noura Mint Seymali 

Tzenni

added: 22 Jun 2014 // release date: 23 Jun 2014 // label: Glitterbeat
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni - Printable version
Fusion is everywhere at the moment. In food one of the main trends is fusion of two totally alien flavour palettes into a new form – often an unholy mess – and in music where there were ‘influences’ on western music or western music introducing new elements to the music of the world we now have artists like Noura Mint Seymali fusing her Griot origins with western rhythms and forms and creating a totally individual and completely original sound.
As with food these fusions can be disastrous but Seymali has been strong enough to use only what she needs and has created something rather magical.

The lady herself hails from Mauretania and she has a dark and expressive voice grown through generations of her family of Griots. Stylistically the music has some similarities to Blues but also has a lot in common with the psychedelic jamming of the sixties bands. Couple that with her earnest and impassioned singing in the style of the Moorish Griots and the result is exciting, exhausting and mentally stimulating in turns.

The album title refers to the dance of the Moorish Maurentanians, a whirling and spinning dance that is normally to be seen on the streets of Nouakchott and in the deserts of Maurentania and listening to the album you cannot help but bring the images of the dance to the front of your brain but she has added a deal of Western rhythmic influence especially in the bass line and you can even hear inflections of Eastern European and Russian Kletzmer in her style although this is all very much her own music and not just a melange of disparate noises.

Seymali will be playing at the Barbican in September as part of the Sahara Soul gig and on the basis of this album she will be unmissable.




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4 stars

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