Ndagga ND-01 ( 12″ / Download )
A stunning new production by Mark Ernestus, drawn from his recordings with some of Senegal’s greatest musicians — a griot clan of Sabar drummers from Kaolack in Senegal, led by Bakane Seck, with guest players and vocalists. Jeri-Jeri’s style of Mbalax is swingeingly masterful — heady and hard-grooving, with highly complex, fiercely succinct poly-rhythms — an ancient-futuristic music, mesmeric but sharp as nails, super-charged with drama. Featuring the lovelorn vocals of guest Mbene Diatta Seck, Sabar traditions are fused with furious Afro-Cubanismo, hard funk-rock, and shards of high-life. Ernestus’ nasty, hypnotic, stripped dub — a Mbalax first — edges in the bass, profiles the talmbat and thiole drums, and scoops the semantics out of the vocal.