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Noura Mint Seymali – Arbina LP
Label: Glitterbeat – GBLP 038, Glitterbeat – INDIGO LP 131331
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Noura Mint Seymali hails from a Moorish musical dynasty in Mauritania, born into a prominent family of griot and choosing from an early age to embrace the artform that is its lifeblood. Yet traditional pedigree has proven but a stepping-stone for the work Noura and her band have embarked upon in recent years, simultaneously popularizing and reimagining Moorish music on the global stage, taking her family’s legacy to new heights as arguably Mauritania’s most widely exported musical act of all time. Gamely wielding the griot’s idiom, a form itself distilled from centuries of trans-Saharan musical knowledge, Noura Mint Seymali’s sound as heard on this record carves out a unique position in the musical cartography of West Africa, at once her country’s leading proponent of the avant garde and yet a rigorously devoted tradition-bearer.
Arbina is Noura Mint Seymali’s second international release. Delving deeper into the wellspring of Moorish roots, as is after all the tried and true way of the griot, the album strengthens her core sound, applying a cohesive aesthetic approach to the reinterpretation of Moorish tradition in contemporary context. The band is heard here in full relief; soaring vocals and guitar at the forefront, the mesmerizing sparkle of the ardine, elemental bass lines and propulsive rhythms swirling together to conjure a 360 degree vibe. Arbina refines a sound that the band has gradually intensified over years of touring, aiming to posit a new genre from Mauritania, distinct unto itself; music of the “Azawan.”