A group comprising both Senegalese and Italian musicians TOURISTES formed in Italy over seven years ago with the intention of mixing up melodies, rhythms, notes, refrains and sounds under the banner of a single musical voyage bringing African and European music closer together.
The resulting music takes its inspiration from Senegalese songs that are subtly 'Westernized' in a way that avoids banalization. Electronic instruments blend with a torrent of African percussion as ancient rhythms lock into modern grooves with a dash of reggae thrown into the mix for good measure. Tribal songs, rain dances, hunting and war chants and betrothal dances are enmeshed in new sonorities and atmospheres.
These twin elements, respect for tradition and attention to the new, come together to forge a universal language, of which TOURISTES are by no means the first interpreters, but which they add to through the precision and intensity of their playing, in the conviction that every day the frontiers of music can be shifted a little further forward.
Embarked on a form of musical tourism that is certainly not 'accidental', the TOURISTES aim is to bring together two very different musical and cultural realities without superficially blunting their edges. Between tourism and migration there must surely be a third mode of travel, one which pays great attention to the diversity of situations encountered along the way
Music is without doubt a great way to travel, ears wide open to countless new worlds waiting to be explored. Setting up camp amid the vast and incredibly rich repertoire of African music, wedged between more traditional interpreters and those who with varying degrees of awkwardness bend to the fickle trends of Western pop music, the TOURISTES seek a new way to fuse Africa's bounteous heritage with contemporary mores: a search whose result is the highly accomplished Mother Afrika.
Mother Afrika is the fruit of a fusion of the shared experiences of African and European musicians, of interaction that is mutually desired rather than forced. The attentive listener will certainly appreciate the record's beauty not to mention the sincerity of the players.
TOURISTES from Felmay Shop