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Friday, September 21, 2007

CD Review: Zap Mama - Supermoon

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2007 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge zapmama_thumb.jpg

Zap Mama

Supermoon

(Heads Up)

By Ernest Barteldes

Multicultural music is what you get with Congolese-born, Belgium-raised singer Marie Daulne, best-known as the founder and frontwoman of the eclectic band Zap Mama. The music that the all-female-based band cranks out draws from various influences without sticking to a single genre. They've been that way for years, and their latest album, Supermoon, carries this tradition even further. For instance, on "Toma Taboo," she borrows elements from Brazilian '70s funk and other global sounds, emerging with a tune that thumps in uniquely Zap Mama fashion. On "Hey Brotha," she incorporates reggae and electronic grooves into a playful ditty on the nature of friendship. For the album's title track, the band gets funky, blending folk-rock and soul elements into a song with a catchy beat that gets the listener moving immediately. It's no wonder she incorporates this into her live sets as well. For a disc with so much musical exploration, some duds are likely to surface. "Affection," which has Daulne's multilayered vocals set over a percussive track, fails to excite; the same goes for "Go Boy," which suffers from a lack of focus in a jazz-meets-Africana arrangement, though it features fine work by guest pianist Leon Pendarvis. The weak moments don't mar the experience as a whole, though. Just a spin of the mellow "Where Are You?" is worth a download at least, and the intriguingly complex "Moonray" will keep you coming back for more.

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David Downs

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