World music review: Baaba Maal, Television

(Palm)

Senegalese star Maal has long pursued a strategy of alternating albums of acoustic, traditional material with hi-tech hybrids. Television, his first record in eight years, is his most audacious tilt yet at Afro-modernism. Its spacey, shimmering atmosphere reflects the hypnotic grooves of Maal's orthodox music, but is delivered with electric guitar and beats rather than west African kora. "International", a recitation of capital cities, is a clumsy attempt at crossover but elsewhere - on the breezy, whistled "Cantaloupe" or the intense, flamenco-tinged "Dakar Moon" - Maal updates his African heritage with panache.

Contributor

Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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