CD REVIEW – Remind Me (Fatalima) by Samba Sene & Diwan


Remind Me (Fatalima) by Samba Sene & Diwan

Remind Me (Fatalima) by Samba Sene & Diwan

Edinburgh probably isn’t the first place you’d expect to find the uplifting and life-affirming rhythms of Senegal, but since moving to Scotland 10 years ago, talented musician and songwriter Samba Sene has brought his infectious blend of world music to the capital and beyond.

Remind Me (Fatalima) is the first release from Samba Sene & Diwan, featuring Samba’s rich and wide-ranging vocals, backed by a 10-strong band of international musicians, 6 guest artists (including guitarist Rise Kagona, an original member of the Bhundu Boys), and 2 female backing vocalists.

With 10 original songs all written and composed by Samba himself, the album is a vibrant rainbow of colourful beats and rhythms, running the spectrum from Afrobeat and reggae through to ska, funk and pop; with a touch of traditional African hues thrown in for good measure.

Songs like album opener Yonambi and Lolambe are joyful and exuberant dances between guitars, keys, horns and multi-layered percussion and drums, evoking all the diverse positivity and hospitality of Samba’s Senegalese home.

Keman swaggers to the ebb and flow of its sultry reggae rhythms, whilst Alone gets up on the dancehall floor with some addicitive ska-tinged beats.

Things slow down with the atmospheric Yaya Anna, a haunting track with a traditional feel where Samba’s voice soars above the hypnotic music. Warouna, another standout from this impressively varied release, also allows him to demonstrate the full range of his vocals over the mesmerising sound of the traditional wooden balafon, a West African xylophone-type instrument.

Things close with Africa, Samba Sene’s hymn to his homeland, and a fitting end to an album which represents the wide variety of styles and rhythms of the continent. Life-affirming and upbeat with a production which allows the music to sparkle and shine, Remind Me (Fatalima) is a welcome ray of Senegalese sunshine, highlighting some rich and rewarding sounds which you are bound to enjoy basking in.

Check out Samba Sene & Diwan on MySpace and Facebook.

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