instrumental, african | 35:13 min | MP3 320 kbps | 84 MB
Label: Self Records
By far the album’s most bombastic track, Lafia starts out with what sounds like every instrument playing at once. Such well-arranged density is proof positive that this is a technical expert group that is far more than the sum of its parts, each member in perfect harmony no matter how easy it would be for the piece to collapse into chaos.
In sharp contrast, Miriama sees the band at its acoustic best. Sweet and relaxed, the billowing track features a male-female vocal duet amid delicately ornamented ostinati.
Toubab Krewe makes one more shift with the final cut Southern Tracks, a muddy jumble of sheer volume, totally incoherent until the last couple of minutes when the dust clears just enough to hear some individual lines amid the raucous mess. This is the only moment where the album really falls flat; while this might be a song suitable for a whole album of noise, it’s a real head-scratcher coming at the end of such an otherwise melodically inclined album, and does little to finish up Stylo on a satisfying note.
While the last track fails to translate well to a recording, though, there is the promise of the prospect of hearing it live. Toubab Krewe is, above all, a band meant to be experienced in person. Stylo comes out in the midst of a tour that will take Toubab Krewe from playing alongside the Pimps of Joytime in Colorado to the East Coast – including a stop on March 11th at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn – and then over to Michigan for the Electric Forest Festival in June. As well as Stylo displays Toubab Krewe’s considerable range, skill, and ability to cross genre boundaries, the band is truly meant for travel. Stylo is just the tip of the iceberg for a band with so much to show.
01. Toubab Krewe – That Damn Squash
02. Toubab Krewe – Night Shade
03. Toubab Krewe – Stylo
04. Toubab Krewe – Saba Meniya
05. Toubab Krewe – Salut
06. Toubab Krewe – Lafia
07. Toubab Krewe – Miriama
08. Toubab Krewe – Southern Tracks
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