Top of the World Review: Burkina Electric – Paspanga

Posted on June 11th, 2012 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Max Reinhardt

Irresistibly dancey Afro-funk from the scion of a 20th century legend

On every track of this album there’s a rich and strange presence in the soundscape, be it a lick, a texture, processed vocal, a delay or a rhythm. Which makes a lot of sense when you consider the bloodline of Lukas Ligeti, one of the leaders of Burkina Electric. He is after all the son of sonic explorer György Ligeti, one of the greatest of all the classical composers of the second half of the 20th century. Lukas has played contemporary classical compositions with the Kronos Quartet and Bang on a Can and co-founded the band Beta Foly nearly 20 years ago in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. Burkina Electric is his latest African musical project, which emerged over the last seven years or so from his travels in Burkina Faso. 

The vocals of Maï Lingani and the guitar of Wende K Blass coalesce with Ligeti’s sonic vision and percussion. Paspanga undoubtedly shakes your hips as well as your musical expectations: there’s glorious chaos on ‘Ça Va Chauffeur’, classic dance tunes such as ‘Sankar Yaaré’ and ‘Gom Zanga’, spiky pastiche (‘Bobo Yengué’), haunting trip-hop (‘Mdolé’) and driving Afro-electro in ‘Naab Koobo’.

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