Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ismaël Lô - Xalat

Ismael Lo is a Senegalese musician who makes "Mbalax" music, which combines aspects of western pop with Cuban and Senegalese rhythms. From the wiki (There's a more complete biography on the Allmusic page):

He was born in Dogondoutchi in Niger on 30 August 1956 to a Senegalese father and a Nigerian mother. Shortly after Lo's birth the family returned to Senegal where they settled in the town of Rufisque, near the capital Dakar. He is a versatile singer and artist, and besides his singing abilities, he also plays the guitar and the harmonica.

In the 1970s Lo studied at the School of Art in Dakar later joining the popular group Super Diamono, but leaving the group in 1984 to start a solo career. Over the next four years Lo recorded five popular solo albums.

This is his 1984 solo album, Xalat. Soft guitar interplay with Afro-Caribbean rhythms and an upfront brass section. Highly recommended for fans of highlife music, although not quite the same as far as I know. I'm really not as familiar with this specific type of music as I'd like to be, I found this album by chance and picked it up as soon as I'd had a listen.

Ismaël Lô - Xalat (1984)

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