Daby Touré, 2004
On Daby Touré's first album for Real World, the songs tell of Daby's life, of the people around him, and of the world in general. He sings of relationships, his family, freedom, and above all of being positive when times are hard. It is perfectly fitting then that the title, Diam, means peace, something that Daby has looked for throughout his life.
The album took Daby several years to create; locked away in his room, with his own home-studio and equipment, he began to write and arrange songs, controlling every aspect of the creative process from composition to arrangements to performance and mixing. That was important. Daby was in pursuit of a very individual musical vision, and he needed the time, space and solitude to make it a reality.
"The music that I play is based on exploration, on original compositions. It's like a painter who gets up to paint a painting. I get up in the morning, I pick up my guitar and I start working. I don't know where I'm going but I go."
After several years of hard work, Daby teamed up with electronic musician and digital wizard Cyrille Dufay to develop the sound further. The result of all this experimentation, exploration and hard graft is Diam.
- Live At Bastille Day Celebration Emerging Mauritanian star Daby Toure performed in a more accessible, international style, with blunter rhythms and a powerful bass, and more than a few hints of reggae. During an impressive set he ignited the crowd, returning drenched in sweat for a triumphant encore. The Boston Globe (USA)
- Daby writes his own material, and is a virtual one-man band, layering up all of his own guitar, bass and percussion parts. His voice is wide-ranging. It's bass parts trimmed with a variety of subtle mixing desk effects, the higher tones left free to float with a pure and clear natural sound. Touré's basslines are the beating heart of each song, flanked by detailed percussion, with delicate acoustic guitar taking care of the crucial verse frameworks. Touré has already supported Peter Gabriel on the Still Growing Up tour, and also appeared on the main stage at WOMAD 2004 in Reading. His approach is perfect for global music crossover success, managing to retain its rootsy qualities at the same time as forging ahead with an indivudualist singer-songwriter pop-fusion. www.bbc.co.uk
- ...a thoroughly charming record. Touré's music evokes modern and traditional modes of life: It's as influenced by the sounds coming out of today's Senegal, Mali, Paris and New York as it is falored by the traditional music of his native Mauritania. Gentle-voiced and sweet-spirited, Touré, teaming up with electronic musician/producer Cyrille Dufay, creates a thoroughly charming record. Standout tracks include the lilting 'Iris', the R& B tinged 'Bary' and the hypnotically rhythmic 'Dendecuba'...Touré is a rising star." Billboard (USA)
- This album sits in a comfortable cranny astride all borders, artistically, melodically and beautifully demonstrating that only those who have an intrinsic sense of musical excellence can take inspiration from culturally distinct sources and make something brilliantly new with it...Daby's voice has all the right qualities to it (be careful of arm hairs standing involuntarily on end): a gorgeous blend of deeply penetrating low notes, soothing mid-level tones and raspy soaring lines that speak of the Sahara and answer the question, "where is Mauritania in this man's music?"... (Hassina is) an extraordinary song accompanied by Indian tabla, that will have you standing still somewhere near your stereo wondering how on earth these heart-stopping sounds got into your house... a fine first album and no doubt France , Mauritania and Senegal are all proud of him. fRoots (UK)
- album review Diam by Daby Touré is a warm and tuneful collection of songs. I knew little about him until I heard his distant, attractive voice at Womad weekend. Touré is a charismatic and likeable performer, accompanied at this festival by his own guitar and an accompanying trio. On the album he multitracks most of the instruments himself - including low derbouka, bass and percussion - but the soundscape is far from monochromatic. Additional studio musicians - ubiquitous Bumcello cellist Vincent Segalé, backing singer Lili and co-producer/keyboard player Cyrille Dufay - are deployed with great care to make an enjoyably mainstream world-pop album in which each track has a distinct character. The Guardian (UK)
- Album Review ...a delightfully tuneful album that convincingly blends African and Western folk. The plaintive acoustic guitar riffs and yearning voice recall the "desert blues" of Baaba Maal. There's the same sense of the lone voice calling out amid emmense space, though Touré's delivery is warmer and less starkly Islamic. Traditional motifs have been adapted into well-structured, memorable songs suffused with tenderness and a heart-warming campfire intimacy. Daily Telegraph (UK)
- ...a crossover album of classy Afro-pop. If the idea of an African Nick Drake or Cat Stevens appeals, then Daby Touré is your man. Most top West African singers, such as Salif Keita and Youssou NDour, have a soulful, wailing tone that owes much to the powerful Islamic influence in the region. Brought up in Senegal, Mauritania and Paris, Daby Touré has a much gentler voice with the kind of relaxed lilt that is more usually associated with the Western troubadour tradition. Yet he also has strong African musical roots, and these contrasting influences combine on a lovely debut album that is made even more accessible by the sparkling production of the French electronic wizard Cyrille Dufay. To Tourés easy-on-the-ear melodies and winning hooks, Dufay adds layers of sparkling acoustic guitars, nonAfrican percussion and subtle electronic beats and loops. Its all done without compromising the authenticity of Tourés African origins to create a crossover album of classy Afro-pop. If the idea of an African Nick Drake or Cat Stevens appeals, then Daby Touré is your man. The Times (UK)