Paspanga is the debut album from Burkina Electric, a group of musicians from Africa and Europe led by composer Lukas Ligeti, son of famed Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti. Their music draws from the tradition and rhythms of Burkina Faso while incorporating contemporary electronic elements. Ligeti explains Burkina Electric's formation by saying, ' In the mid-90's, (we made) our first attempts at creating what could be called African electronica. On our travels to Burkina Faso we met the singer Mai Lingani and guitarist Wende Blass. Soon, we invited two dancers to help us draw audiences into our unusual rhythms and celebrate the continent's unseverable connection between music and dance.'
Burkina Electric, Paspanga (Cantaloupe Music, Jan. 12) The début full-length album by this multi-continental group, led by Lukas Ligeti (the son of the noted composer), combines West African rhythms and electronic dance-floor effects. This seemingly fractured approach is united by the enchanting and energetic voice of its lead singer, Maï Lingani. --The New Yorker
It sounds like the setup to a joke: An Austrian tech geek and an arty German musician fly to Ouagadougou... But it was in Burkina Faso that Vienna university student Lukas Ligeti and the mysteriously named Pyrolator found indigenous singer Maï Lingani and guitarist Wende Blass to manifest their dream of creating African electronica.
Really, it s not so exotic. West African pop has long used digital gear, and European dance borrows the trance-inducing grooves of highlife. If it might not thrill as a sonic innovator, Burkina Electric mesmerizes with overabundant spirit and nifty computer skills.
Half the album settles into a chill cosmopolitan vibe with Lingani singing traditional Mooré chants over pools of shimmering dub. When the laptops are taxed, things get interesting: The dizzying disco ( Ca va chauffer ), skittering workouts ( Nongui Taaba ) and choppy rhythms ( Naab Koobo ) push the limits of multicultural multitasking. --Time Out- Chicago