'Monistic Theory'

REVIEW The Observer May 16th, 2016

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate: Monistic Theory - Simple and effective

Many world fusions fail by diluting their respective traditions to become less than the sum of their parts. This collaboration between a Syracuse, New York guitarist and rapper and an electric kora player from Guinea manages the opposite, partly by keeping things simple. The beats are sturdy, allowing Driscoll to deliver “one world” raps in swaggering New Yorkese (“Whether you fade or mend/The only salvation is love in the end”), while Kouyate, stunningly nimble even by west Africa’s high standards, soars at every opportunity. He supplies the album’s dreamier melodies and vocals on Wama and Barra, the oscillation between east and west keeps things fresh, and a live Master Blaster shows why the pair are festival favourites.

Neil Spencer
World music