Fofoulah ‘Fofoulah’ (Glitterbeat/Indigo) 4/5

fofoulahFive piece London-based collective Fofoulah incorporate band members from Juju, Robert Plant as well as Senegal and Gambia. Recorded at Real World studios and reflecting the ethos of that label. this is a truly world roots fusion project and one that succeeds on all fronts with just the right blend of disparate elements, both traditional and contemporary, that come together in a cohesive whole. The relaxed mid-tempo ‘Don’t let your mind unravel, safe travels’ features an understated rap with some repetitive guitar riffs. Talking drum or sabar and hypnotic guitar riffs greet the listener on the brassy ‘Hook Up’ while the laid back ‘Reality Rek’ slowly builds up into a steaming number with assorted percussion. External influences include dub and this is showcased on ‘No Troubles’ which is the opening album track and is an uplifting number that changes pace to a reggae beat complete with dub effects. Overall, the combination of catchy hooks and the subtle inclusion of more urban grooves actually comes off and they are one of the surprise bands to emerge on the world roots scene this year.

Tim Stenhouse