SK Kakraba – Songs of Paapieye (4 stars)

SK Kakraba – Songs of Paapieye

(Awesome Tapes From Africa)

Gyil expert impresses with interpretations of Lobi songs

SK Kakraba is a master of the gyil, a traditional Ghanaian xylophone. What makes the instrument unique are the paapieye – silk walls from spiders egg sacs – which are stretched across the holes in the gourd resonators. The sound is warm and woody, with strange overtones of buzzing insects and twanging rubber bands. Listeners could be forgiven for thinking there’s some Konono-style electronic processing involved, but the gyil is entirely acoustic. Kakraba’s mesmeric interpretations of traditional Lobi songs make the most of the gyil’s sound, with bass patterns gently throbbing under the gorgeous melodies and polyrhythmic improvisations.

Out from Sat 3 Oct.

SK Kakraba — Guun

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