19 March 2012 (released)
21 March 2012
First time of listening to this little gem I was somewhat nonplussed - what the hell is a banjo doing in the middle of some fine West African music? Then I listened to the massed horns, the French language and saw that the band is an offshoot of the Antwerp collective, Zita Swoon and the pieces started to fall into place.
Then I gave up trying to explain the incongruities and simply enjoy the music - now it made total sense.
This is a brilliant mixture of European and West African sounds linking dEUS founder Stef Kamil Cariens and a young pair from Burkina Faso, Awa Deme and Mamadou Diabate Kibie. Unlike the mash-up of Dirtbox + Tamikrest a few years back the European musicians aren't trying to play African music: they each have a function and complement each other beautifully.
The combination of Cuban percussion, the crosstalk of Balofon and Banjo and wonderful vocals from Awa Deme creates a delicious melange of sounds and styles.
They should be touring later this year - do not miss!