Artist: Issa Bagayogo
SYA is a re-release of the debut album from Malian bus driver turned ethno-techno sensation Issa Bagayogo. Brewing up traditional Malian tribal rhythms marinated in the sounds of modern hip-hop culture, Bagayogo's sub-Saharan danceclub vibe has already shaken his native nation and is now poised to transfix the world. The "kamele n'goni,'" his instrument of choice, is a small string instrument that sounds like a cross between a guitar and a harp. Performing alongside an ensemble of Malian instrumentalists on instruments like the djembe, acoustic guitar, yabara and the calebasse, Bagayogo's calls and wails (featuring Tita Diakite's responding vocals) ring out against the downtempo bass-driven backdrop with raw intensity and emotion.