“We electrify traditional music a bit more to bring it to the modern level,” says guitarist Garba Toure, speaking through a translator in a phone interview. “It’s more beats, [faster] tempo — a younger way to show a new generation there’s no need to give [the music] a label: rock or blues.” -Billboard interview
Classification of Songhoy Blues is a tricky proposition. Clearly the African indicators are there: the tribal polyrhythms, the serpentine, almost surf-like electric guitar from a post-Ali Farka Touré, Mali, the chanted chorus… but as Toure stated on a “modern level”. I would throw this in a set between John Lurie’s, Marvin Pontiac project, and Swedish Psychedelic Afrophiles, Goat. Apparently their sound has struck a note with western ears, as Atlantic Records just signed them up, making them the first African act in their catalog since Manu Dibango electrified the airwaves with his funky, Soul Makossa, forty three years ago!
Here’s one from the recently released, Music In Exile, produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist, Nick Zinner. Check out the amazing textile patterns and style