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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Dirtmusic digs deep into Malian grooves

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Found something new while digging through the albums I had previously discarded; and found, as I usually do, that some of it was actually much better the second time around. Such was the case with the latest from Dirtmusic, Lion City. Lion City is the third album from a group that has made muical fusion their premise. Marrying indie folk to Malian blues sounds like an excellent idea and Dirtmusic gets it right, mostly...

Dirtmusic is an Australian and American group who on their latest take their love of Malian blues straight to the heart of Mali. Lion City was born out of countless jam sessions and a ton of collaborations in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Marrying folk rock to desert blues is harder than it seems and when the songs on Lion City bend toward the latter the album largely succeeds. The only songs I like on the album feel more Malian and less indie and with collaborations from legends like Samba Toure they clearly fell in with a good crowd. Definitely worth a deeper listen, I fell in love with the song "Narha," whose dubby dance into trance, is led by a ton of spring reverb and impassioned vocals from Aminata Wassidje and hit the spot as we got into our Sound Travels trip for Wednesday...