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Sway Machinery: The House of Friendly Ghosts Vol. 1

img  Tobias Fischer

Timbuktu-born singer – actually a superstar in his country – Khaira Arby joins the Brooklyn-based Jewish world-beaters in this outing, the inspiration for which sprang from the band’s journey to play a festival in Mali.

The result is an infectious, intricate mixture held together coherently by Arby, who, aside from his sedate crooning in the bizarrely “Lay Down Sally”-like “Women Singing in Timbuktu” and a few other spots, is a frenetic, pious, yodeling spaz evoking calls to prayer in the devout tribal patter of “Serigou,” the big-beat stomp of “Hey Ha Youmba,” the Middle-Eastern-tinged Afrobeat of “Skin to Skin” and the pretty-much-ska of “Gawad Teriamou.”

The band, meanwhile, is positively New York, tight as thieves whether going off on horn tangents or futzing with jazz-prog lines (“Golden Wings”).

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Sway Machinery
Homepage: JDub Records

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