Album Review: Susso – Keira [Soundway Records, 16th September 2016]

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Susso is the Afro-electronic project of bassist/producer Huw Bennett, fusing his lilting, loping, rhythmic textures with field recordings collected during his travels along the River Gambia.  It’s a task requiring a fine balance of moods, tones and atmospheres to prevent the material being overwhelmed – for there’s a timeless, dusty quality to these griot tribal recordings.

“Ansuma” displays the kora with magical harp-like flourishes dancing over a bass line propelling forward – percussion snaps along to keep the vibe fresh and upbeat. On “Alagi” there’s a hint of jazzy, Balearic goodness as bass and percussion underpin sun-kissed guitar. Closer “Sun Kunda” creates a perfect mood with a melancholic keyboard pattern.

Keira takes a few listens to hook you in, but you’re rewarded with a meditative, hypnotic, uplifting experience.

Bennett has crafted a beguiling, deep and mesmerising album, which perfectly executes the marriage of traditional sounds and textures with understated rhythms.

 




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