Tal National: Zoy Zoy (Fat Cat/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tal National: Farila
Tal National: Zoy Zoy (Fat Cat/Southbound)

For more than a decade this boisterous and irrepressible band from Niger played their lengthy sets (sometimes up to five hours) well away from the eyes and ears of the world beyond their national borders.

Until the Kaani album a couple of years back when it was impossible not to be swept up by their energy and melting pot of various musical styles from the region.

Among their number -- and they are a revolving door collective of over a dozen players -- they have Tuareg, Hausa, Fulani and Songhai people so they can stretch from mathematically complex music (like an Afro band raised on King Crimson) and thrilling left-field Afro-funk to something akin to Sahara blues.

In places the weave of guitars and percussion here -- not to mention frontman Hamadal Moumine's singing and the answering chorus -- mean it can be hard to get something to hold onto. There is so much going on.

So a tip: just pick a guitar coming out of one speaker (or better, in one ear down your headphones) and hold on for dear life.

There is a lot of finesse here amidst the boiling energy and intensity of their approach but for many it might be hard to take this much musical information coming at you.

Doubtless best enjoyed live -- you can imagine a huge field at a Womad on its feet -- but those willing to take their time and pace themselves with this one will be amply rewarded.  

Share It

Your Comments

Tony Walker - Jul 20, 2015

Thanks for the article on Tal National, Graham.

The vocalist on the track 'Claire' reminds somewhat of Youssou N'Dour.

Might have to get this album.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

LO'JO INTERVIEWED (2012): The maison where worlds collude

LO'JO INTERVIEWED (2012): The maison where worlds collude

For a medium-sized town in France, Angers – pronounced An-jey, population about 240,000 – boasts a fascinating ancient and recent history. It was once a Roman town, numerous kings... > Read more

Hossam Ramzy: Rock the Tabla (Arc Music)

Hossam Ramzy: Rock the Tabla (Arc Music)

With the kind of diverse guests only this acclaimed Egyptian percussion player could call on -- jazz drummers Billy Cobham and Manu Katche, A.R. Rahman (aka "the Mozart of Madras",... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES; THE TOURING YEARS (2016): So you still wanna be a rock'n'roll star?

THE BEATLES; THE TOURING YEARS (2016): So you still wanna be a rock'n'roll star?

Near the end of the Beatles' Anthology John Lennon – his voice from beyond the grave – says with a pithy reflection, the Beatles were a great little rock'n'roll band. If that... > Read more

Jelly Roll Morton: I'm Alabama Bound (date unknown)

Jelly Roll Morton: I'm Alabama Bound (date unknown)

The origins of jazz are lost in the mists and of course few would be so bold as to say it started on any particular date. One who did however was pianist Jelly Roll Morton who claimed to have... > Read more