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Toubab Krewe
Sytlo

Combining the exotic with the domestic, Toubab Krewe build on their rep for Malian/American admixture with Stylo, the North Carolina-based quintet’s third studio LP and first since 2010.

Electric guitars, bass, drums and percussion merge with kora, kamelengoni, soku and other African stringed implements to make a sound that straddles the line between Paul Simon and the Latin Playboys as the guitarists draw inspiration from Vincent Nguini, Jerry Garcia, Link Wray and David Hidalgo.

The result is a propulsive, 35-minute collection of eight songs that range from the breezy, Afro-Cuban sway of “Saba Meniya” to the Santana-esque, guitar-and-percussion drive of “Lafia” to the bouncy balladry of “Southern Tracks.”

Instrumental save for some wordless incantation and foreign-language vocals on the penultimate “Miriama,” Stylo (pronounced Stee-lo) is an album best enjoyed while in motion – driving or running, say – and is perhaps most welcome because it gives the band a reason to get back on the concert stage after a two-year hiatus.

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