Rap meets kora - with tremendous results
Collaborations between Western musicians and their West African counterparts have been ten-a-penny in recent years, whether it's been Taj Mahal or Bonnie Raitt tracing their blues antecedents or dreamers like Damon Albarn creating whole new soundscapes, as he did on his still-terrific Mali Music record. But the partnership between American Joe Driscoll and Guinean kora player Sekou Kouyate brings us something that we haven't heard before. While acoustic guitar and kora converge, Driscoll - a celebrated rapper and beatboxer - deftly drops swift-syllable rhymes, providing an urgency that's a perfect counterpoint to the mellow instrumentation. Although it's early days for the partnership (an album is promised later in the year), there's most certainly a halogen-bright future for this fraternal coming-together of kindred spirits. "He doesn't speak any French," says Sekou of his partner, "and I speak no English. But through music, we understand."
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2012)