Earlier this year, Bagayogo's album Timbuktu was released in the U.S. It was his second record, but his first one released here.
Earlier this year, Bagayogo's album Timbuktu was released in the U.S. It was his second record, but his first one released here. Sya is Bagayogo's debut album, originally released in West Africa and Europe in 1999. Now that San Francisco-based Six Degrees has brought Americans up to speed on the work of this exceptional Malian artist, the import of his sound is more evident than ever. Like Oumou Sangare, Bagayogo is a Wassoulou artist. His distinctive sound, known as Afro-electro, spins out of the traditional acoustic music of western Mali. Listen to "Kanadianfan" for the basic vibe, then follow the dance beat variation on the theme on "Diarabi" and "Lanaya." Bagayogo keeps his electronica and dub influences subtle, but they are insistent as well. His laid-back style offers both a trance-like feel and musically intriguing departures.—PVV