Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang - En Yay Sah (4 stars)

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang - En Yay Sah

Sierra Leone musician hooks up with Brooklyn musicians for Western debut

(Luaka Bop)

Famed as the moderniser of bubu music, a traditional style from Sierra Leone, Janka Nabay has hooked up with Brooklyn musicians for this Western debut. Slicker than Nabay’s earlier recordings, En Yay Sah sympathetically upgrades his sound with dubby bass, stinging guitar leads and sci-fi synth and organ. Jon Leland’s electronic drums bring a real-time swing to the futuristic jackhammer sound of Nabay’s drum machines. ‘Feba’ (‘Look-Alike’) is an arresting opener, with Nabay recalling the conflict which saw him leave his homeland. ‘Tay Su Tan-Tan’, with its infectious percussion and sunny keyboard riff, is a fantastic showcase for Nabay’s gruff interplay with Syrian-born Boshra AlSaadi’s lush backing vocals. One can only imagine how electrifying this band would be live.

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang - En Yah Sah (Official)

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