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Awa Poulo - ‘Poulo Warali’

by MarcusErridge
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on 02 February 2017 in Albums & EPs
Record Label Awesome Tapes From Africa
Release date 20th January 2017
Rating 8/10

Is music from Mali getting better and better, or is it just that we in the West are getting to hear much more of it in recent years? Following in the footsteps of Amaudo and Mariam, Songhuy Blues and Sidi Toure, this latest export from the home of the blues is equally impressive. Awe Paolo comes from the Peulh, a nomadic people from Mali. She brings smooth vocals to measured and sophisticated melodies, producing an innovative blend of African folk-rock with a touch of psychedelia. Dimo Yaou Tata perfectly blends Paolou’s mix of old and new. Flutes, Kora and other traditional string and drum instruments are intertwined with electric guitar, all pulled along by Paolo’s enticing, soaring and subtle vocals. Djulua is another strong cut, as the slow-burning Djara Wilam. Paolo lays down a groove with the standout number Mido Yirima – a gorgeous melody swirling around a light, stripped down arrangement, built around a delicate but driven guitar lick. Another highlight is the excellent multi-layered title track Poulo Warali. It’s music that flows over you and takes you somewhere. Music of firesides and riverbanks. Slow down, take a breath and enjoy.

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