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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Djam Leelii

Baaba Maal

Mansour Seck

1989

Djam Leelii
Album Summary

Djam Leelii is the first widely distributed album of Senegalese musician Baaba Maal and guitarist Mansour Seck. Several of the tracks have been released on Baaba Maal's later releases. It was originally recorded in 1984 and released in 1989 by Mango Records. A 1998 edition from Palm Records raised the number of tracks to twelve. The album was featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.8

Votes

11086

Genres

  • World

Reviews

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

This is why I love this project. I never would have found this. And I may never listen to again. But dang did I like it on this car trip.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

This is lovely! Relaxing, hopeful, energetic, and worldly. It makes me feel far away (in a nice way).

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Wed Jun 09 2021
3

Ok so random thoughts on this: 1. Finally something I'd never have heard of otherwise, and not just the Beatles or Bowie for the umpteenth time. 2. Cool guitars and tribal drums. I dunno if traditional music, but something close to it? 3. Singing is alright but wears out its welcome. Gets too Arabic-sounding after a while, like those annoying prayer calls that just blast at 100 decibels in the streets in MENA countries. 4. This album shouldn't go for over an hour. A bit too repetitive. But it would've been fine at 30min for sure. 3/5.

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Great listen, atmospheric achostic vibes with african influence, no lyrics some chanting. good to listen and loose yourself in

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

Gorgeous instrumentation and vocals. I have heard Baaba Maal mentioned by other musicians so it was great to actually be able to listen to him.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

Looks like something I might be interested in... Baaba Maal seems to be a big figure in the music of Senegal, and this is his debut with friend Mansour Seck. It has great vocals from both, in traditional African stylings. On the best tracks (like Muudo Hormo) we also get cool, traditional, organic percussion that fits perfectly. Personally, I'm not a huge guitar fan, so the turn-off for me is the predominance of acoustic (and one time electric) guitar across this album. Having said that, these guys tend towards beautiful, simple melodies that repeat and gradually develop. The best tracks are hypnotically repetitious, which is just the shit I love in any genre of music. It seems like this has just been chosen for the list as "world music for guitar fans" - but I can put up with that, because it's a mesmerising album. 4/5.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Kind of cool. Never would have found this on my own. Songs are all a bit long and of course I have no idea what the lyrics are, but the instrumentals are interesting and it really handles the role of background music very well.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
2

Not sure, at track one, if this is a me album. Intensely folky and repetitive, but I'm keeping an open mind. It's nice in places, but I'm just not deeply into Senegalese folk jams. Clearly it has value, but it sounds a lot like any other culture jamming - pleasurable for the musician more than the listener. Then it might just be me not understanding the culture well enough. Don't mind some Tinariwen or Manu Chao, but this just isn't grabbing me.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
2

Not for me. Very long. I can appreciate the fact that it's a completely different style than I've really heard before, but I just couldn't get into it.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
2

I've never heard something like that before, it was a cool experience. Nevertheless felt kinda boring, songs were too long and repeatable, both singing and melodies. And still not my type of music.

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Mon Apr 12 2021
1

I can't for the life of me understand why this album is on 1001. For lack of a better explanation, I'll once again blame the British for this album appearing on 1001 as some attempt to appease their colonial guilt. I'm guessing Baaba is from a West African country. I'm from a North American country. I respect whatever musical traditions they're bringing to the table, and I have a personal responsibility to bring an open mind and hear this music with as few hangups and expectations built up from 36 years of "western" pop traditions, but I sure as hell don't have to like this. Songs are repetitious, droning, no change in dynamics, no development arc. I found small pockets of beauty, but I can find small pockets of beauty in a sewage processing plant. What is the point of this album? Is it just to feel one thing (detached mild ennui) and feel that same thing over and over again until the album ends? Did Baaba Maal want their listeners to accidentally fall asleep at the wheel and plow into a dairy farm? Perhaps perhaps perhaps if I understood the language there could be a deeper emotional impact, but that would have to be some exquisite poetry to overcome the doldrums of the music. D-

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

Really loved the ethereal feel of this. I didn't pay as much attention to each track as I'd have liked, but having it on in the background is wonderful.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

I never would have given this a chance if it weren't for this project, so score a point for the list. Some really nice guitar work that really grew on me as I listened. Best track: Kettodee

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

I didn't understand it at all, but it's very nice to receive this kind of album here on this list. Just listen to it and it's absolutely impossible does not to note the importance and influence of these songs in almost everything I listen to every day. The language, the drums, and everything else is recognizable in some way Unexpected surprise, not understandable, but very cool!

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Fri Aug 04 2023
1

I ALREADY RATED THIS YOU IDIOTS

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

One of the reasons I'm doing the 1001 albums challenge is to discover gems like this album. What a stunningly beautiful record it is. A few guitars, percussions and a touching voice and the end result is simply magic. I don't understand the lyrics - though I made some research and read about what they sing about - but it's a good proof how music can connect different cultures, backgrounds, and people together. This album touches my heart deeply. Just wonderful.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

A little different, tribal sounding for the most part, that's the point of these right, to listen to a lot of different sounds!

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Mon Feb 14 2022
4

Senegalese tunes and familiar western rhythms are combined beautifully. The album starts with high-energy tracks, and the melodies become more thoughtful later.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Very lovely. Glad to be introduced to a genre and musical style that I would have been unlikely to find otherwise. Album felt a little long at times and I probably need to be in the right mood for it.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

There's some really beautiful music on this album. The guitar playing is absolutely amazing and the percussion compelling and infectious. The vocals took some getting used to but never intruded on my enjoyment of the music. A really beautiful listening experience. 4 🌟

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

As always with non-English language selections I feel like I can’t fully appreciate this. The instrumentation is fantastic, and although the signing style is way outside my cultural zone, it was interesting, and complemented the music.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
3

Imaginez un album d'environ une heure constitué de pistes elles-mêmes constituées d'interminables boucles mélodiques. Imaginez maintenant qu'un homme y superpose des sénégalaiseries chantées pour nous faire oublier la redondance de l'instrumental. Vous obtiendrez alors l'album Djam Leelii de Baaba Maal et lui accorderez une note de trois sur cinq.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
3

Neodlučna sam oko ovog. Prije godinu dana bi sigurno imala ne tako dobar dojam o ovom albumu, ali u međuvremenu san gledala neki film di je ovakva glazba savršeno zaokružila cilu scenu pa san tu pismu slušala neko vrime i valjda mi se sad zbog tih pozitivnih sjećanja svidio i ovaj album. Do neke mjere. Malo predug album pa nakon nekog vrimena postane repetitivno. Čak bi mi se više svidilo da je sami instrumental ili možda malo manje pivanja. 2.5/5

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Mon Mar 14 2022
3

This is what this book is made for. I've never heard of this and would have never sought it out. I have absolutely no idea what any of the songs are about, but the vocals sound great. I really dig it, although it is a little long and feels repetitive which lowers the rating for me. 3.5/5

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Thu Jan 18 2024
3

a unique and somewhat soporific album. far too lengthy and unfocused/meandering to really stand out, but it makes for an interesting listen nevertheless.

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Sun Dec 12 2021
2

I did not need to listen to this. The music itself is unremarkable. I didn't skip any songs, but I tolerated it.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
1

Did not listen, absolutely zero interest in this type of music.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
1

In this book to hit a diversity quota. Absolute drivel.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
1

AGAIN! I DONT DO JAZZ Its fucking musical masterbation, no one wants to watch someone else doing it.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

This album was a VIBE it felt ALIVE Ko Wone Mayo was especially memorable. Fuck it, five stars, this was unlike anything else, a really nice album.

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Sun Jul 18 2021
5

Musik um ihretwillen; sie erzählt und wird getragen von der Erzählung der Instrumente im Reich des Halls. Der Gesang überkommt die call response Struktur der weithin so gebauten Stammesgesänge. Erinnert eher an Blues und ist in seiner analog trancigen Art einer der Ursprünge für Schaffens des Animal Collective. Mesmerized 4.5

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

Beautiful. Surprised I'd never heard this before, will be a favourite and need to investigate more of Maal's work

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Sun Jun 05 2022
5

I discovered Baaba in college, so I knew what I was getting into. Love the instrumentation and the hauntingly beautiful singing. I could listen to this all day forever.

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

1989 - World Music (hard to describe - Classic guitar; Xylophone; Steel Drum; Chant)

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Sun Oct 30 2022
5

After shirking my 1001 duties for a week, this is a mighty fine album to return to. Baaba Maal  was another one of the artists who were key to getting me hooked on African music. I didn't have Djam Leelii  but bought his next album Baayo - (which is also excellent). Thankfully my copy is still in good shape since I can't find the full Baayo LP on Spotify or YouTube.  The guitars and his voice are quite amazing. Not much else to talk about but that is definitely enough.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

I’m in shock. Where did Baaba Maal emerge from? And how am I only hearing of him this moment? With Djam Leelii Maal and Mansour Seck have created one of the most hauntingly beautiful albums I’ve ever heard coming out of Africa. Maal’s vocal is both powerful and full of emotional range while Seck’s guitar playing will haunt my ears for days - not to mention the effect kora and balafon has on this record! Djam Leelii might easily end up in the top 5 of African records for me.. Until I’m sure I’m going to dive deeper into Baaba Maal’s discography and look forward to the March release of his upcoming album, Being.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

So this could just be the early stages of a crush talking, but I might just have a new favourite world music album. I was completely hooked from the get-go and the interest never faltered through the 9 tracks. This record really is something else. Baaba Maal has an amazing and unconventional voice, and the acoustic guitar of Mansour Seck is hauntingly beautiful. Adding on top of that the idiophone on for instance 'Muudo Hormo', and the result is an incredible atmosphere transporting the listener to somewhere else entirely. What impresses me is how the record manages to be so so groovy while still leaving plenty of space for contemplation. Definitely worthy of a lot more listens.

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Sun Aug 06 2023
5

absolutely beautiful favorite track was probably Maacina Tooro, but the whole album is just so wonderful 10/10

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Thu Sep 28 2023
5

Great African music. The vibe is perfect here

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

SENEGAL!!! alussa luulee että intiaa..mutta ei... liian hyvä äänenlaatu.. these mfkers speak WOLOF.... wolofphones... top 20 jalkapallomaa... kakkostiimi AINA..AINA mm kupissa... espanja ykkönen...dogshit team...senegal kantaa.. nelosta olin antamassa mutta on vitosta annettu paskemmille albumeille (rodeohead) ja 2.77 average heh. average rating heh.... pistää niin vitun vihaksi.. tai pistäisi jos kiinnostaisi... meikä olen parempi ihiminen, ei tarvitse katella tommosia... parempi ihminen tietää objektiivisuuden. käsittämätön ääniskeippi... sielu uppoaa aavaan kitarahyrskyyn... pistää transsiin.. olisi uskomaton juna musiikki... maacina toro

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Really nice album, would never have thought to listen to it otherwise.

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Sun Feb 11 2024
5

Brilliant. Exactly what I am looking for from this list. An album that I should have listened to before.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
5

Those first few bars had me. I love this type of sound - not quite desert blues in the Ali Farka Toure mode, but pretty close in places. That guitar and then when the kora kicks in (yes, that's not all guitar you know...) This might be better in its original eight track package (although Kettodee is one of my favourite tracks). But it's pretty darned good anyway. I must have first heard Baaba Male on the old Andy Kershaw world music show on Radio 3. Not that it was really world music - just whatever Andy felt like playing really. Miss that show; there's not really been anything like it since and it made Sunday nights special. Tossing up between a 4 and a 5. Assume the shorter, eight track version and then add a point for not being in English anyway and it's a 5 from me. More non-English music please.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

Beautiful guitar interplay and vocals. Another album/musician on buy list, thanks to this site. :-)

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Fri Mar 22 2024
5

Extraordinarily beautiful. I loved the melodies, harmonies, instrumentation all the way through. Spotify calls Baaba Maal an "epic storyteller" making me regret that I don't understand the lyrics.

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Loved it! Unique sound. Great rhythms. I’m a sucker for albums that aren’t in English

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Sun Mar 24 2024
5

Man this was fun. Outside the normal scope of albums I get. Just good chill vibes. Love the arrangements of not often heard instruments.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

Well shit. This is so, SO good. We had a 1993 Baaba Maal album a few months ago, and this is a clear precursor to that one’s high-tech, larger-than-life jams. This one, I feel like it was just tracked by great musicians in a room together. And it’s SO compelling. I can’t get over how expressive Baaba Maal’s voice is. I wish I could understand the language, but even without it it’s just arresting. Let’s talk groove, though… this grooves like NOTHING else. This is some crazy shit!! “Muudo Hormo,” that is my favorite track of the entire year so far. So sly. It starts in this totally pretty, folk pastoral, style, and gradually speeds until it’s this infectious JAM. I was dancing all over my house listening to this. Couldn’t stop. Even now as I’m listening to it a fourth time. It just has this sweet, beautiful, yet joyful quality. I can’t remember the last time a song compelled me to dance so JOYFULLY. This is a beautiful thing. Do I detect a tiny hint of prog influence? Just in the way some of the guitars are played, recorded. Those super bright DI acoustics, we call that sound “cheap” in America. I’m starting to really, really like it. I don’t mind the long runtime at all! The bonus tracks were some of my favorites. Really, that balafon player should win an award. It’s criminal that this music is so overlooked here in America. I want to go to the places where it’s celebrated, where it’s danced to. 5/5

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

This is what I came here for. Absolutely beautiful. Sounds totally fresh.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

I have never heard this before and I truly enjoyed it. The artist has a very interesting story as does the history of music in Senegal.

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Fri May 17 2024
5

Just an absolute pleasure to listen to. The tones the textures. The way he can convey a feeling in a song despite not knowing the meaning behind the lyrics… just gorgeous gorgeous music and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to be shown more of on this list.

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Tue May 21 2024
5

Fantastic. Great to just throw on and vibe. I only wish I could speak Pulaar so I could appreciate that gawlo storytelling.

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Fri May 31 2024
5

I absolutely appreciate the sound and feel of this whole album. A quote for Baaba Maal sums up my listening experience pretty well, although with a very Western experience I bet I’m missing a ton when I listen with my own ears…maybe not in some ways? “The spirit of the kora and the ngoni are different from the talking drum and the balafon, or the sabar and the djembe. The kora and ngoni are closer to human beings, because they are made from things that had life. The talking drum, the balafon, and the sabar are made from wood, and when you listen to them your mind goes out into the forest. When you make music and write songs, you have to know about the messages. From the messages, you know what the instruments are and how to put them together underneath the lyrics."

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Fri Jun 07 2024
5

Loved this. Never heard Senegalese music before but will definitely listen again.

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Mon Jun 10 2024
5

Talvez eu inclua esse som dentro de rock psicodélico simplesmente por falta de conhecimento de outro gênero ou músicos similares. Frases de guitarra simples e hipnotizantes, batuques com todos os tipos de instrumentos rítmicos, acompanhadas de um vocal entoado (que me pareceram mantras em algumas músicas) trazem algo de novo e refrescante pra essa lista, e que definitivamente tornam meu repertório mais rico

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Tue Jul 16 2024
5

really like this. No idea what they are singing about but lovely sounds

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

I like this kinda stuff… very relaxing!

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Thu Sep 24 2020
4

Sonically interesting, perfect blend of electronic sounds and traditional African sounds and beats.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

Solid as hell. Good vibes, reminds me of that one Ethiopian song I love from Feets' Ice Caps playlist

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Really enjoyed this. So unique. The instrumentals were a highlight throughout the album

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Fri Mar 12 2021
4

good easy listening, like Savane

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Sun May 16 2021
4

I loved the style and the instrumentation. Will listen again.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

Una nova descoberta de la llista. Evidentment, el que més destaca és l'increïble treball de guitarres, que juntament amb una percusió minimalista i unes veus encisadores creen un disc hipnòtic, magnètic. Una mena de 'Marquee Moon' meets 'Graceland' filtrat per l'herència senegalesa. Molt bó, realment

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Thu Sep 16 2021
4

A very interesting sound. I wish I understood the lyrics. I liked most of what I heard as far as instrumentation.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

Jeden z tych pickow ktorych sie czlowiek nie spodziewa, bo jest to folkowy album prosto z senegalu, Baaba Maal, to glowa tego projektu, ale wspierany jest przez Mansoura Secka, zarowno na wokalu jak i gitarce, wiec jest to praktycznie plyta duetu Maal-Seck, dodatkowymi instrumentami ktore mozna uslyszec podczas odsluchu to tradycyjne afrykanskie sprzety, tym razem z afryki zachodniej, bo pojawia sie balafon, ktory jest afrykanskim odpowiednikiem ksylofonu, kora ktora mozna okresic jako 21 strunowa harfe, do tego perkusyjne bebnienia i elemety elektrycznych rifow, spotifajowa wersja tej plyty to 12 kawalkow i godzina 12 minut czasu grania, bo jest to wydanie z 98, natomiast orginalne wydanie pochodzi z 89, choc material nagrywany na nia pochodzi juz nawet z 84, nawet pomimo tego, ze kontentu lirycznego nie rozumiem ani troche, to jednak slucha sie tego przyjemnie, bo jest to cos nowego, takiego polaczenia dzwiekow nie slyszalem wczesniej, bo jednak afryka jest dluga i szeroka, a wiekszosc afrykanskich materialow jakie osluchalem, to poludnie i ewentualna polnoc, a zachod ma swoj orginalny urok, ciezko tu wrzucic cos na plejke, bo jednak brzmi to tak odmiennie ze ciezko zgrupowac to na dana plejke, wiec cala plyta leci na poleczke orginalnych pickow plejkowych, nieposzerzajacych horyzonty muzyczne

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Wed Nov 24 2021
4

Good world music album. I like the instrumentals, it's a bit slower than I prefer with some of that type of music I listen to. Still good!

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Nije nešto šta inače slušam (shocker) ni šta ću vjerojatno opet ić slušat ali prezanimljiv zvuk, jako muzikalno i smirujuće (možda bi i trebala ponovit s vremena na vrijeme?)

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Sun Jan 30 2022
4

What a mesmerising experience it is to hear this album again. Extraordinary!

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Very interesting. The guitar was excellent

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Very unexpected and melodious album

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Is this what used to be in the reductive "world music" sections in gift shops and book stores? A really enjoyable listen. Baaba has an enchanting voice.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

A Travel to Senegal sounds.I’ve really liked these album. Sometimes we have to experience knew cultures.

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Fri May 13 2022
4

Really hard to describe this album. It is beautiful stuff. It is easy to call it World Music but that does it a disservice as that can just be used for anything not euro/American. I really enjoyed it and want to hear more

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Mon Jul 18 2022
4

I like how warm this album sounds The guitars weave together & complement each other nicely, The percussion is sparse but It’s always welcome when it kicks in July 22, 2022

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

This is a new one for me. Very powerful and interesting blend of Senegalese and western music. Almost hypnotic. I will come back to this one.

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Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Really good, and good for background. Will listen again

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

I really don't know how to listen to world music in a non-exoticising way: to hear this as just, normal. But it is good, sometimes mellow, sometimes soulful.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

A good album to zone out to.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

Hypnotic and beautiful 3.5/4

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