Malian singing superstar, songwriter and activist Oumou Sangare has just announced details of her next release ‘Acoustic’ via No Format which will re-invent her 2017 album the super funky ‘Mogoya’. That previous record, her first after an 8 year absence, marked a step change for this singular artist with its pumping bass, guitar stabs and tight dancefloor rhythms. It was a new kind of afrobeat fusion, electrifyingly hip swinging but still very much connected to her Wassoulou roots with her powerful voice still strident and on message.
‘Mogoya’ may have had the re-work treatment before with the 2018 set of storming DJ remixes from the likes of Sampha and St.Germain but the prospect of an unplugged re-imagining of the tracks is even more intriguing. Speaking about the impetus for creating Acoustic, Nø Førmat founder Laurent Bizot recalls; “I suggested to Oumou that she record this album after a show in London to celebrate 15 years of Nø Førmat. At that concert, for the first time ever, she had agreed to try out this acoustic approach, which is all about letting go. The space it created for her voice was really wonderful.”
Recorded live with no retakes or overdubs, the ambition of ‘Acoustic’ promises to reach back to Sangare’s seminal 1989 debut, the defiantly traditional ‘Moussolou’. The new record will even feature the kamele ngoni magician Brahima ‘Benogo’ Diakite whose connections to the singer go way back to her original band.
The release dates for ‘Acoustic’ (digital- 28th June/physical-28th August) seem a long way off but the signs are it will be well worth the wait.
Watch the album teaser here