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Daby Toure Diam Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

'His approach is perfect for global music crossover success, managing to retain its...

Martin Longley 2004

Daby Toure had a rural upbringing in Mauritania, but this first solo album betrays his Senegalese family roots. Toure's father tried to push him away from music, but Daby snatched secret guitar time, and in 1989 his brothers invited him to join their Toure Kunda band in Paris. Later, Daby formed Toure Toure with his cousin Omar.

Daby writes his own material, and is a virtual one-man band, layering up all of his own guitar, bass and percussion parts. His voice is wide-ranging.Its bass parts trimmed with a variety of subtle mixing desk effects, the higher tones left free to float with a pure and clear natural sound. Toure's basslines are the beating heart of each song, flanked by detailed percussion, with delicate acoustic guitar taking care of the crucial verse frameworks.

Most of the Mauritanian music heard in the UK is of the hardcore desert variety, best exemplified by the throaty singing style of Dimi Mint Abba. Toure's music has passed through a Parisian studio filter. His co-producer and keyboardist is Cyrille Dufay, whose contributions are always tastefully shaded. A song like "Yaw" will include sampled loops and echo-percussion, but these trimmings don't interfere with the illusion of acoustic space. Toure repeatedly aims for a mesmerising mood, which can sometimes relax into blandness. "Bary" has a Malian feel, particularly with its sawing electric cello lines, whilst "Dendecuba" boasts one of the album's strongest melodies. "Hammadi" and "Fabe" are infused with a great sadness, as Daby's voice takes on a raw aspect for the latter tune, set against a trailing melodica line. This album's only drawback is a cumulative sense of sameness as the songs unfold.

Toure has already supported Peter Gabriel on the Still Growing Up tour, and also appeared on the main stage at WOMAD 2004 in Reading. His approach is perfect for global music crossover success, managing to retain its rootsy qualities at the same time as forging ahead with an individualist singer-songwriter pop-fusion.

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