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Sample Track 1:
"Khaira" from Timbuktu Tarab
Sample Track 2:
"Djaba" from Timbuktu Tarab
Layer 2
Artist Review

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Ramata Diakite and Khaira Arby

I have her Ya Rassoul album -- released domestically, no info on when though but I really rate her. She was given the title 'The Nightingale of the North' a long time ago and it's well deserved. The tracks on the Ya Rassoul album are lovely and long -- some over 6 minutes. There is 'Amandiath' which showcases that unique round sound of the traditional guitar. The production is so good you can hear the player's fingers tugging the strings, accompanied by the harsh haunting sound of the violin.

Then the funky electric sound of 'Ehe Youma' with its intricate guitar moves, the soft slow bass guitar and all the while the call and response of the vocals, with the 'response' of the chorus just managing to hold down Khaira's soaring 'call'. The language is new too -- soft rounded vowels, rolling r's, guttural sounds -- words like 'biobini' pronounced 'bwaibini', the curvaceous 'sourgou'.

Like Khaira herself, her music travels on an audio journey to the essence of Mali -- a meeting point of compass points, religion, culture, the past and present. She sings about marriage, love, peace, the lives of the people from the region she comes from, development and democracy. The music is subtle and understated, and Khaira's voice tops it all with its incredible range and pitch.. magic. 06/01/10
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