Vieux Farka Touré – Les Racines
Vieux Farka Touré returns to his roots and explores the traditional blues of Northern Mali in his new album Les Racines
After distinguishing himself from his father, the late Ali Farka Touré, Vieux Farka Touré returns to his roots and explores the traditional blues of Northern Mali; desert blues is the umbrella term for the deeply sewn rock and blues that sings across the Saharan desert in unique rhythms and uniting traditions. The title of Vieux Farka Touré’s latest album translates as ‘the roots’, reinstating his own relationship with the Songhai music of Northern Mali.
The album breathes in the hot sun and treads delicately with opener Gabou Ni Tie, which features Amadou Bagayoko from Amadou & Mariam on guitar. This track takes on the journey of rejecting traditional education and echoes the importance of preserving traditional values with a uniting ensemble of 'Iwoimai ni ma gabou ni tie woga'.
Title track Les Racines teases the mind through a deeper beat and hypnotising guitar picking; it's a full circle of personal exploration, where origins are found the further you delve into the track's layers. With songs like Adou and L’Âme tributing to Touré's own father and son, the album becomes not only an ode to familial connections but a marrying of heritage and community – what it means to belong. Les Racines is a personal project that reinstates Vieux’s own identity and unique skill, while thanking the roots that he grew from.
Listen to: Gabou Ni Tie, Adou, L’Âme