MAMAR KASSEY Denké-denké (Harmonia Mundi) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Rolling rhythms and lithe vocals might be the engine behind Central African ensemble Mamar Kassey, but it's the fireworks between guitarist Abdoulaye Alassane and Fulani flute maestro Yacouba Moumouni that really sets Denké-denké alight. The two battle it out on each of the 13 tracks here, whether the song's about death, the harvest or a cattle show, as Alassane plucks out rubbery solos and group founder Moumouni lifts the tunes even higher with his sharp flute lines. It's the most Celtic-sounding African record imaginable. Expect the lines to be blurred even further when Mamar Kassey hits the Bamboo Friday (October 4) as part of the Small World Music Festival.