Wau Wau Collectif | Mariage

Wau Wau Collectif | Mariage


Sahel Sounds
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Wau Wau Collectif’s second album, Mariage, is instilled with a newfound sense of purpose. Expanding upon the inspirational themes of their acclaimed 2021 debut, Yaral Sa Doom (Educate The Young), this long distance collaboration from musicians in Senegal and Sweden’s Karl Jonas Winqvist is an even more stylistically expansive affair.

Joyful children’s songs collide with fuzzy guitar solos and thumping hip-hop beats. Shimmering synths lift off from the plunky percussion of the balafon and versatile sounds of the 22-string kora. Familiar voices from the first album return with more explicitly political lyrics, while the music feels both rhythmically dense and sonically weightless, flowing from one spellbinding moment to the next.

For Mariage, band members from each country were inspired to include a wider array of instrumental flourishes unique to their cross-continental collaboration. “Yay Balma” revolves around the cycling riffs of Jango Diabaté’s xalam guitar, as this song’s fuzzy tones and soaring sax solos open side two with a bang. “Pitchi Goubidi” provides a stark contrast, with the kora played like a harp and Gilbert Badji’s gravelly lyrics about “the bird of the night” disappearing into dubbed-out chamber pop.

Winqvist’s Omnichord hovers back into focus on “Yonou Natangue,” a free-floating jam that maintains the messages of Wau Wau Collectif’s debut, promoting youth education to address the social issues facing contemporary Senegal: “Peace is the better wealth / The way to wander.”

01. La Paix Du Senegal (Instrumental)
02. Baye Kate
03. Mariage Forcé
04. Thiaroye 1944
05. Xale (Toubab Dialaw Kids Rhyme)
06. Le Repaire Spirituel
07. Yay Balma
08. Pitchou Goudibi
09. Nécessaire
10. Yonou Natangue
11. Jarabi
12. Liguey Len (Arouna Kane Solo)