Lobi Traoré - Bamako Nights: Live at Bar Bozo 1995 (4 stars)

Lobi Traoré - Bamako Nights: Live at Bar Bozo 1995

Live recording of late Malian guitarist on electrifying psychedelic form


Rawer than any of his studio albums, this newly uncovered live recording from 1995 captures the late Malian guitarist Lobi Traoré on electrifying form as he sets a hot Bamako basement club on fire. There's a palpable sense of joy as Traoré and his band hotwire Bambara roots to an electric mainline. Traoré has a flanger pedal, and damn right he's gonna use it. In the wrong hands, this stomp-box can reduce the gnarliest of tones to a cheesy whoosh, but for Traoré it brings a psychedelic swirl to his clean sound and a sky scraping rush when he kicks in the overdrive. From the sparse Ali Farka Toure-like blues of 'Ni Tugula Mogo Mi Ko' to the accelerating polyrhythms of 'Sigui Nyongon Son Fo', this is a killer set, Traoré delivering his vocals and guitars with impeccable timing, leaving space for his superb rhythm section to really cook.

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