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Mabruk by Aziza Brahim
Released: Jun 2012
Label: Le chant des fauves
Aziza Brahim is too often lumped in with the Sahara's big blues bands. And while she does share some aesthetic traits -- a raw rock 'n' roll mournfulness, a contemplative roll to her sound -- with acts like Tinariwen, Brahim's blues are distinctive. A Spanish-speaking Sahrawi artist who assembled a band of artists from around the globe, Brahim weaves Iberian or Gypsy sounds into many of her tracks (see the flamenco-ish "Laaiun Ezeina") and generally imbues Mabruk with a kind of cosmopolitan chic. But it's the interplay of quietly moving vocals and the driving rock licks that grab at your soul.
Rachel Devitt