Fanga/Maalem Abdullah Guinea - Fangnawa Experience (3 stars)

Fanga/Maalem Abdullah Guinea - Fangnawa Experience

Collaborative introduction to North African Gnawa music from Fanga and Abdullah Guinea

A collaboration between French collective Fanga and Moroccan maalem (master musician) Abdullah Guinea, Fangnawa Experience seeks to fuse Gnawa, the sacred music of North Africa, with the more familiar (to Western ears) sound of West Africa. Fanga have the latter styles down to a tee, adding a heady dose of electric Miles Davis shimmer to their funk grooves, baritone sax and guitars. Their lively sound complements Guinea’s gruff vocals, but the most striking moments come when Fanga step back and let the maalem’s gimbri (three-string lute) ring out in all its plaintive, stubbly beauty. A successful fusion and an appetite-whetting introduction to Gnawa.

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