Mariama

COMPOSERS: Pape and Cheikh
LABELS: Real World/Virgin
WORKS: Mariama
PERFORMER: Pape and Cheikh (vocals, guitars)
CATALOGUE NO: CDRW 108

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Top-quality Senegalese music has been cascading into the CD racks for months, and the international launch of the locally well-established PAPE AND CHEIKH is as unmissable as N’Dour.

They are on to much the same idea as him in one number, but the tapestry of glowing animated consonance behind Pape’s powerful vocals is made mostly from acoustic guitars – less varied and feelgood than N’Dour’s sound, more youthful and vigorous and ultimately more stirring.

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The duo claims influence from Sixties Western political pop-folk, and the penultimate number has a great guitar hook that would have graced any of the period’s bands, but it sounds fundamentally, and distinctively, African. Not sure about the accordion, though.