Nuru Kane – “Afrika”
Nuru Kane is back with his third album Exile, which is available now on Riverboat Records / World Music Network. The Senegalese guitarist and guimbri player enjoyed international success with his previous release, Sigil, which earned him a “Best Newcomer” nomination in the 2007 BBC 3 Awards for World Music. Kane’s music is diverse, revealing a wide range of styles that he picked up on his travels around the globe.
Born in Médina, the bustling arrondissement within Dakar where Youssou N’Dour is from, Kane built his first guitar as a teenager and began to combine traditional and contemporary musical styles to create his own fusion. During the 1990’s, Kane gained a lot of experience playing as a member of various projects in Paris, picking up the sounds of the backstreets along the way. When he vacationed in Morocco, Kane became fascinated by Moroccan gnawa, the trance-like spiritual music which typically features the guimbri three-stringed lute Kane plays. In addition to gnawa music, Kane draws influence from the Baye Fall, a sub-group of the Mouride brotherhood, which he is a member of. Mouridism is a large Islamic Sufi order widely practiced in Senegal.
Since Nuru Kane implements so many styles on Exile – gnawa, Baye Fall, mbalax, blues, reggae, rock to name a few – this album is a sonic patchwork of Kane’s past. He tackles topics like religion, marriage, family, dictatorship and African liberation on a positive record with some dark undercurrents along the way. One of the standout tracks is “Exil,” which inspired the title for the album. This creeping, urgent song commemorates the lives of those forced into exile in order to escape humiliation and torture. Guitar, guimbri, sanza, djembe, calabash, oud, balafon, kora and ngoni flavor this set with Kane’s impressive singing, playing and songwriting. Thierry Fournel deserves a special mention for his musical arrangements, accompaniment and production techniques. This album will hold your interest from start to finish as you won’t know what’s coming next. Listen to “Afrika” and watch an introduction video to sample Exile.