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K-Bass: “Faso” a Rhythmic Feast of Sublime Beats and Melodies

A world famous runner and a dynamic Afro-Pop/Reggae vocalist and song writer Bassirima Soro, better known as K-Bass, is fluent in English, French and his native language, Bambara. K-Bass was born in Côte d’Ivoire (The Ivory Coast), Africa to a deeply loving but impoverished family of musicians. K-Bass’s late father, a traditional medicine man, singer and Ngoni (a string instrument originating in West Africa) player and his mother, a singer and dancer, were both descended from families in which music is the center of everything. Through music and dance they celebrate birth and death, comfort the living, resolve conflicts, and share their knowledge and Love. They instilled their great passion for music in K-Bass as a young boy.

Despite severe economic hardships, K-Bass obtained a hard won education and became a world class cross country and marathon runner, earning celebrity status in his native country and surrounding regions. After moving to Tucson, Arizona, he won the prestigious Tucson Marathon 6 times, barefoot, (for which he was written up in Sports Illustrated and numerous other sports magazines and blogs).

Later on K-Bass’ formed K-Bass and Farafina Musiki, bringing together an amazing group of musicians and dancers: K-bass has launched 3 solo albums to date: “Too Much Negativity”, released on April 25, 2009 “La Liberté” in 2011 and K-Bass latest album Faso released this year.

As much as I enjoy crossover African music, I was totally unprepared for how remarkable this album is. From the opening moments of “Liberz L’Afrique”, the music sweeps you away. K-Bass comes in to intone his magic and you are thereafter transported to a rhythmic feast of sublime beats and melodies.

With “Faso”, K-Bass has created his West African induced dance-pop masterpiece. You will find yourself returning again and again to the sinewy turns of rhythm, the percolating bass and guitar lines, the lilt of the brass, strings and harmonies, as well as the passionate beat of the percussion. There is so much here that is wonderful!

K-Bass’ voice invokes, resonates with joy, and dances in celebration throughout. The musicians playing on the album seemed to have understood the wealth of this material and bring its treasures to lustrous effect, in their playing.

A clean, glossy studio effort, the production across the fifteen tracks is sublimely organic and professional. The best picks of the bunch for me are, the title track, “I Don’t Want To See You Sad”, “You Make Me Believe”, “Kelemagny”,  “Foly”, “They Pretend”, “Nothing Left” and “Union Africaine”

The inspiration for this album seems to come from K-Bass’s inner soul. You can hear it in his voice. When you close your eyes and listen to the music, it’s almost transcendental and amazingly enough you do not even need to understand what he is saying.

“Faso” is rich and full of emotion – it’s a complete musical experience, one which you will return to again and again!

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