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Sidi Touré was even more directly displaced: his home town of Gao was on the frontline of the civil war. He and his band started recording Alafia in Nantes, stranded on a European tour, returning to finish it in Bamako once the crisis had passed.

Amid the urgent Songhai desert blues, led by Touré’s guitar and clatter of percussion, are subtle nods towards pan-Malian reconciliation in the form of Abdoulaye Koné’s ngoni and Cheick Diallo’s Peul flute.

Sidi Touré

Alafia

(Thrill Jockey)

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