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World Music CD Reviews Europe

FREDERIC GALLIANO

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published March 24, 2006

Frederic Galliano And The African Divas
F Communications/Play It Again Sam America

French DJ, Frikyiwa label owner and Afrobeat enthusiast Frederic Galliano reportedly traveled throughout West Africa over the course of four years putting this project together. Billing it as “where Bamako meets Chicago,” he enlisted 12 African female singers and 30 musicians from Senegal, Mali, Niger, the Ivory Coast, etc., and put together this blissful blend of house, Afro-pop and chill-out. In other words, the rhythms move from a pounding 4/4 club-style beat to polyrhythms and frequently dissolve into acappella vocals, dub effects and the barest hints of melody. The entire album is beautifully constructed and quite a mind trip. As the “lounge/chill-out” genre grows and the distances between cultures shrink with each day, we see more and more projects from Western artists adapting African influences, many of which sound forced or slapped together. This is one of the most successful of those sonic experiments.