Na Hawa Doumbia
La Grande Cantarice Malienne Vol. Three
Awesome Tapes from Africa
Since 2006, DJ/blogger Brian Shimkovitz has been steadily releasing a flood of overlooked and impossible-to-find cassettes of African music on his Awesome Tapes from Africa blog, covering all manner of worldly and pop sounds. So with a digital niche already comfortably carved, what would possess him to finally release a physical product? Simply, he fell under the siren spell of Na Hawa Doumbia. The Malian diva is fucking nigh impossible to resist. This incredible set of songs recorded in 1982, as Doumbia’s decades-long singing career was just beginning, is now finally getting a worldwide release. Within a sparse, even lo-fi, bed of guitar, piano, and percussion, Doumbia pulls off that delicate balancing act of making folk music that doesn’t sound like folk music. Indeed, the delicately interlocked, hypnotic grooves topped off with her passionate, urgent delivery no doubt communicate important social messages, but with this album, the pursuit of truth AND beauty are in a frenetic dance-off. And we all win.
Awesome Tapes from Africa: www.awesometapes.com