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Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze

Sira

(ObliqSound; US: 11 Nov 2008; UK: 31 Dec 1969)

Is there any instrument on Earth that someone, somewhere, will not try to put with a kora? This time around the other instrument is a trumpet, and when I previewed one of these tracks on their MySpace page I doubted that the album would work. The burr of the brass next to the exactness of the strings just sounded too odd. Once I’d heard the album I changed my mind. The two instruments have a shared dreaminess, backed up by Cissoko’s controlled and understated Senegalese croon. They’re temperamentally in synch. An unusual mix, but it works. Sira is lovely in lots of small and unobtrusive ways—it sort of wanders up to you, does its thing gently for a while, then melts away into the foliage, mission accomplished. Superior relaxation music.

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