February 10, 2016

Aziza Brahim | Abbar El Hamada

ARTIST: Aziza Brahim
TITLE: Abbar El Hamada
LABEL: Glitterbeat
With the passing of Mariem Hassan in 2015, Aziza Brahim has inherited the mantle of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’s most important musician. And she has never lived in her home country – Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony, has been occupied by Morocco since 1976, and Brahim was born in an Algerian refugee camp in that year. On Brahim’s third full-length album, she continues to expand her horizons and her sound. Her band includes two West Africans and three stalwarts of the Barcelona (her current home town) music scene, who add an international flavor. But the core of Brahim’s music continues to be desert blues: start with tracks 2 and 7, the hardest-rocking songs here, with stinging lead guitar by Kalilou Sangare. 8 is the slowest number, with guest Samba Toure channeling his mentor Ali Farka Toure on guitar, and Brahim’s most powerful vocal performance. 4 and 9 are Westernized takes on the Sahara sound, featuring beautiful melodies and some tasty Spanish-style guitar. And the title track (6) is the most unique and harmonically complex of all, with a lovely bass line by Guillem Aguilar. An outstanding, mature work.
TOP TRACKS:    2    4    6    7    8    9
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    3    5    10

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