SAVANA FUNK : Barà Tounkarankè / Mba Review
SAVANA FUNK comprises Aldo Betto, Blake Franchetto, and Youssef Ait Bouazza (respectively from Italy, England, and Morocco). The three first met in the spring of 2015 in Bologna, Italy and it became immediately apparent to them that they shared a special bond on an emotional and musical level. Together they create music that mixes African music, funk, blues, psychedelic rock, and jazz influences. In 2018 they officially adopted the name SAVANA FUNK and are now releasing a two-song EP called Barà Tounkarankè / Mba. The two tracks are fronted by vocalist Kadi Coulibaly with added keyboards added by Nicola Peruch, and Kalifa Kone adds percussion and ngoni.
“Barà Tounkarankè” has an upbeat feel that has an African influenced feel. The funky guitar part by Betto adds to the energy and frames Coulibaly’s vocals. The song form has its roots in psychedelic rock, with a very predictable form and song shape. Betto’s guitar solo takes on an Island and African sound, and his use of chord shapes that he arpeggiates with his right hand is brilliant.
With a bluesy opening from Betto, “Mba” is a slow burner, developing over time with a catchy call and response style melody. The influence of African music is heard throughout the song, and Coulibaly’s singing and Betto’s guitar fills are beautifully performed. Kone and Bouazza create a groove that is catchy and unmistakably a world beat. Franchetto’s bass is always in the pocket and bouncing with energy.
Barà Tounkarankè / Mba shows that SAVANA FUNK sounds impressive with a vocalist in front of the core trio and adds to the group’s sonic library. Barà Tounkarankè / Mba has more African music influence than their last album, Bring in the New. Coulibaly’s vocals adds to the mixture of African music, funk, blues, psychedelic rock, and jazz influences running throughout SAVANA FUNK’s music.
Barà Tounkarankè / Mba
December 18, 2020