Sorry Bamba isn’t the most historically famous Malian musician, but four decades ago, he was essential in sculpting that young country’s cultural heritage as a recognizable, venerable export. A forthcoming compilation pieced together by Sorry himself and Alex Minoff and Ian Eagleson of Extra Golden (and due June 21 on Thrill Jockey, who are having a banner 2011) looks to put his reputation and influence in proper perspective by making some of his most important music widely available for the first time. But songs like “Sayouwe,” a song indigenous to Mali’s Dogon people that Sorry was allowed to learn and rebuild with modern instruments, don’t require a history lesson to appreciate. (Download it here.)The groove here is thick and irrepressible, guitar and organ cutting through skittering drums and Sorry’s determined singing in psychedelic swaths indicative of these songs’ 1970s timeframe. And forgot the after-hours beer today: Hugofré’s mid-song guitar solo shivers, starts, stops and slinks enough to send your mind reeling aplenty.
Portland So White