Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni
- Stewart Smith
- 20 June 2014
Spectacular psychedelic roots music for the 21st century that skilfully carries traditional forms into the future
It's the voice that floors you, a powerful, agile alto which dances around the modes with virtuosic invention and soars on the long notes. Coming from a long line of Mauritanian Moorish griots, Noura Mint Seymali is a tradition bearer and visionary, giving voice to poems and songs of love, change and faith, while carrying traditional forms into the future.
Named after the circular Moorish wedding dance, Tzenni positively fizzes with heady electrified tinidit (lute) and urgent grooves from a rhythm section steeped in rock, funk and reggae. Her take on the 'azawan', or traditional ensemble sound, sees the spindly tones of her harp-like ardine interlocking with the cyclical riffs of husband Jeiche Ould Chighaly's overdriven and phase-shifted tidinit and guitar, over and around which she weaves gorgeous vocal melodies and intricate, scat-like phrases. Psychedelic roots music for the 21st century, Tzenni deserves to make Seymali a global star.