Album Review

Laila Je T’aime [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

surferrosa   4/24/2013   12-inch, International

Guitar music from the Western Sahel – A selection of field recordings taken by Christopher Kirkley between 2009- 2011. Recorded on site at locations near the riverside of Niger to the North Malian Desert. A guitar is hard to find in this part of the world, the instrument is often battered, fixed in makeshift ways and passed down from hand to hand over many years. The guitars on this recording have a gorgeous, unique tone.. they are either tuned to each other or to themselves.. The songs here are those of a communal fireside jam, dedicated to the passage of time, with the voices of musicians or listeners talking in the background or reacting to the music. The musicians here are listening to each other, conversing using their instruments, with a free and easy sense of rhythm that makes me want to sit out in the sunshine, sip on something, kick back and listen. The guitar here is often accompanied by other instruments, and always a soulful voice singing in french. Sounds like a combination of improvised jams and group songs which have been practiced many times by a circle of friends. The last song on side B is probably one of the best renditions of the Police’s Message in a Bottle you are likely to hear. Drop the needle anywhere, there is no going wrong. -Surfer Rosa

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