Sidi Touré


Thrill Jockey Thrill 347-CD
  • LP: Includes download
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Malian songwriter and guitarist Sidi Touré returns with Alafia, his third international release for Thrill Jockey and his most focused recording to date. This follows last year’s critically-lauded Koïma and 2011’s revelatory debut Sahel Folk. With attention from NPR, SPIN and Pitchfork, among others, Touré’s musical identity has fully come into its own.
Touré deals with the strife and political instability plaguing his home region using the effortlessly broad musical language he’s internalized since his youth. Regional styles, including takamba, holley, and abarbarba (the butcher’s dance), along with his longtime interest in international music, form the underpinning to Touré’s lyrical ode to his country
Recorded between two locations—Nantes, France and Bamako, Mali—during what has become the most contentious political impasse for Mali since the country’s independence decades ago, Alafia mirrors the dramatic nature of the situation. Mali is a massive, culturally diverse and largely peaceful nation that is still struggling to maintain order following a Tuareg rebellion in Touré’s home region in the North last April. The ensuing chaos that followed led to a coup in the capital, leaving a power vacuum in which Islamic extremists have cast a dark and violent shadow over Northern Mali.

While Touré’s Gao was under control of Islamic groups, the band recorded in Nantes on the heels of Touré’s first European tour. Recording in Bamako took place after the “Sahara Soul” tour with well-known Malian acts Bassekou Kouyate and Tamikrest, while Northern Mali’s biggest cities had been liberated. Alafia is marked by these contrasting contexts and the varied mind-frames they imply. The album’s title, which means “peace,” is a simple word that sums up an album of thematic complexities—joy, dialogue, reconciliation, multiculturalism, respect and the fight for a better society— and in-depth explorations of the Songhaï folk music from Touré’s beloved home region.

Backed by this band of young talented musicians, who have joined him on severals tours, he invited friends from the North to participate to this album: the singer Leïla Gobbi, the kolo player Berté Ibrahim, and the rising star guitarist (and Touré disciple) Baba Salah. Touré also opens his music to Malian traditions outside the Songhaï realm with the n’goni virtuoso Abdoulaye Koné aka Kandiafa and the legendary Fula flute player Cheick Diallo.

Sidi Touré: Alafia

Ay Hora My Dance Sidi Touré 5'51''
Ay Takamba My Takamba Sidi Touré 5'24''
L'eau The Water Sidi Touré 5'49''
Waayey The Butcher Sidi Touré 5'09''
La Paix Peace Sidi Touré 7'39''
Gandyey The Spirits Sidi Touré 5'37''
Annour El Sahel The Light of Sahel Sidi Touré 4'16''
Les Medicaments de la Rue Street Medicines Sidi Touré 3'21''
Mali Sidi Touré 4'03''
Ir Wangarey The Army Sidi Touré 5'48''
Boro Ganda My Land Sidi Touré 3'48''

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