Super review by Cal Gibson, of The Secret Soul Society and Scruffy Soul Recordings.

I was taken recently by a passing comment from the doyen of DJing, Patrick Forge, in which he noted the soul-sapping weariness inherent in trawling through the limitless morass of new music that cascades through our lives as music-lovers these days.

In particular, Patrick highlighted the melancholy induced by a Bandcamp session: the never-ending cosmic slop of bangers, boogers, bonged-out barnstormers, and the just batshit bonkers, that populate the platform, and that must be navigated through sure-footedly in order to get at the good stuff.

No doubt it was ever thus, but right here, right now it feels like Bowie’s canny prediction that music will become like running water or electricity has indeed come to pass. Truly, on Bandcamp or Spotify, or wherever you choose to point your browser, all human musical life is to be found, looping itself into infinity, unspooling into a future void of any kind of quality control.

And yet, and yet: Bandcamp remains my musical drug of choice these days, the place where just maybe you’ll stumble across someone like Kimi Djabate and his wonderful house of harmonies. Dindin is a real find, a perfectly-concocted global pot-pourri of deep soul feels, wrapped up in exquisite musicianship, and topped off with a voice to die for. If you’re looking for the real, real deal: step right in, sister.

Hailing from Guinea-Bissau, Djabate switches up the heat with eleven deep-rooted offerings that tunnel Afro-backwards while looking forwards, one eye on the horizon, everything in place for an absolute sweetspot of classically poised grooves and textures. I’ve been playing Yensoro: a gentle sway through lithe guitar patterns, percussion bubbling, vocals up front and centre, lashings of awesome organ layered over the top – an irresistible tour de force.

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Alidonke is just as fine: desert guitar blues blasted into the future, balafon bubbling away, a beat that just rolls ever onwards, no time for goodbyes: a reassuring thunder ringing over the plains, the sound of the ancient, ancient blues dragged into 2023 and given a stern talking-to. Wonderful and wild: on repeat.

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The title cut reduces the stock down to a simmer: a swaying, slaying late night lament: the vocal performance full of warmth and loneliness – the accordion licks sneakily referencing a zydeco vibe – this is music of the world, for the world. Sheer delight: musical mastery made easy.

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Mana Mana features more sparkling guitar lines, waltzing through the vocals, a signal for the dancers to follow: this way people, this way for the groove. It’s delicate and yet solid as a rock: dance music for weary souls, healing nations and citizens alike. Turn away from war and suffering and turn to art, to Dindin, to Kimi Djabate and his band of musical magicians.

Take the message to those who hate: music is love, life is love, life is music. Dindin is exceptionally good: share it with those that you care about, share it in your DJ sets and your radio shows. Thanks and praise all round: a perfect start to Spring.

Kimi Djabate Cover

Kimi Djabate’s Dindin is out now, care of Vermont’s Cumbancha. 

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