Search - D'Gary :: Akata Meso

Akata Meso
Akata Meso
Genres: Blues, International Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: D'Gary
Title: Akata Meso
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Indigo France
Release Date: 7/9/2002
Album Type: Import
Genres: Blues, International Music, Pop, Rock
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 794881646524

CD Reviews

A subtle masterpiece
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Those who have followed this artist know his earliest solo-oriented work,
through his large ensemble arrangements to what is a return to an earlier simplicity. It's not quite a return to old form, the years have added
experience and exposure to new techniques which manifest here to fine
effect. His guitar style is essentially of very fast runs and arpeggios that
he makes seem (and sound) easy, and as a result, one does hear strains of familiarity in his work. Not unlike the type of continuity one hears in John Fahey or Leo Kottke records.In this case, the arrangements hinge again on his guitar, with his vocal
and excellent harmonies and additional vocals by Rataza. The guitar tone is more evocative due to the use of a nylon string type, and in two of the cuts, he uses an electric (which he plays more like a wind instrument in approach, with no note bending and a distortion level almost warm in tone).The change in the rhythm section is apparent, with the addition on some tracks of Indian percussion, and in another, a conga played in non-Latin style. This ensures that the rhythms are supple, and add texture to the music as opposed to pure pulse (which I think is better suited to horn
or other forms of guitar music).Not so apparent, but important, is the change in guitar tone. In one cut, for example, he employs rapid harmonics, not unlike a Hawaiian guitarist, and in another, octaves, which give the music a 12-string guitar effect. Very well done, and evocative beyond any hint of mere gimmicry.Personally, I feel that way too many African artists take the obvious route of adding lots of instruments and heavy beats. Understandable, as it adds appeal to more listeners, but D'Gary's style often benefits from subtraction. His guitar work is technically extraordinary and very evocative, even to listeners not familiar with African music. His vocals are as moving as any blues singer I've ever heard, and few artists do
as well in using space as he does. The music is often stark compared
to larger scale bands, but there's a lot of beauty and emotion instead
of sheen and volume.I'm a fan of this artist, and can't claim to be unbiased. However, this
CD left my jaw hanging at times at how beautiful. The electric work
might be a matter of taste, but a good
reference would be that it is somewhat similar to Fred Neil's Raga in
tone, but better executed.This is one of the best African CDs I've heard this year."
Strong return to form for Madagascar guitar great
woburnmusicfan | Woburn, MA United States | 10/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This album is a big step up over 1997's "Mbo Loza", which had D'Gary rehashing his earlier songwriting and guitar licks. D'Gary grew up in a remote rural area of southern Madagascar, where he taught himself to play guitar. He has a unique, virtuoso sound. But on this CD he has added to that some technique learned from other guitarists that has expanded his musical range. For instance, he would have never come up with the intro to "Resaka Marandray" 5 years ago.The album is solely guitar, voice, and percussion. Singer/percussionists Rataza and Xavier-Martial Francois are still on board, though they only get to play on about half the tracks. Three of the best cuts ("Bobo-drano", "Politikinao Nahoda", "Fatiky Maiky") are instrumentals, with fiery playing by D'Gary and guest Nantha Kumar on tablas. The latter two tracks are the only ones where D'Gary plays electric guitar. The best of the songs with vocals are "Resaka Marandray" with Francois singing lead, and the gentle "Samby Lomay". Occasionally a riff is reminiscent of the "Horombe" album; for instance, "Politikinao Nahoda" has hints of "Zay Gny Raha" in it. I still miss D'Gary's band Jihe, where the addition of bass and a drum set gave him a big sound. But this album has a good sound to it (it's amazing how much help a little reverb can add). Anyone who enjoys Madagascar music or great guitar playing should check this CD out."