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BEC 5772583 BEC 5772583

This is the third album by Malian hip-hop group, SMOD, produced by Manu Chao. More than a generic rap group, SMOD embodies the emergence of a new scene in Africa -- the embracing of new urban sounds but wary of the importance of heritage. As evidence of this, in 2008 and 2009, the trio found themselves in Europe, incorporating influences such as Touré Kunda and Sporto Kantes in their music, not to mention Amadou and Mariam -- for whom they opened at the Olympia in Paris and who Manu Chao invited on his tour in autumn 2009. It was these diverse experiences that provided them with the reassurance and confidence they needed to survive on the scene, the perfect grounding upon which to develop their new sound in line with the great Mandingue musical traditions of the past. So how does it all add up? A variety of foreign influences mixed together that one would readily call Afro-hop, a hybrid genre of rap and African folk with beatbox and simple guitar chords. Between the lines, the "African rap'n'folk" -- as they call it -- makes a link with the secular art of the griot, a pivotal character in a country dominated by oral tradition. SMOD incorporates these elements into a highly textured blend of beats, guitars, electronic effects, harmonic vocals and traditional melodies that emblemizes the new Bamako sound.