The debut album from Les Amazones D’Afriques singer and the “Rose of Bamako,” Rokia Koné, is a high-altitude rush through blistering beats and monumental singing. Despite ‘BAMANAN’’s lofty heights, the record never feels breathless or floundering: it is a testament to the musical stamina of the players and arrangers that such an intensity aligns with their capabilities. The production of California-based Jacknife Lee is palpably inspired by an Eno/Byrne electronic affection that works to near-perfection with Salif’s guitar. With this coalition beneath Rokia’s mountainous vocal performance, ‘BAMANAN’ sustains a degree of pounding beauty that goes beyond ‘feel-good’ and towards genuine elation.
A favourite: ‘Shezita’
‘BAMANAN’ is out now via @realworldrec.