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Angèle David-Guillou

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In contrast to much of her oeuvre to date as Klima, Angèle’s debut album under her given name is a largely, if not exclusively, instrumental work, predominantly consisting of melodically opulent, emotionally compelling compositions for the grand piano (and, on three songs, a Wurlitzer electric piano), many of them emblazoned with vivid arrangements for strings, woodwind, musical saw and percussion.

Inspired by the direct, elemental melodies of French folk and the flamboyant arrangements of European and Latin American Baroque music, Kourouma is hallmarked by a purity of expression, its almost nakedly immediate melodic lines as unsullied and affecting as those of Harold Budd or even Bill Evans at his most reflective.

The album is named in tribute to feted Ivorian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma, and many of its dozen, exquisitely realised essays are inspired as much by literature, both European and African, as they are by musical precedents. While nodding, melodically and thematically, to the work of Anna Marly (Russian-born French composer of ‘Le Partisan’, as famously covered by Leonard Cohen), the hauntingly poignant title track, the album’s only orthodox vocal ‘song’, is that rarest of things, a subtle protest ballad, lamenting, as does the work of the titular author, a world in which child soldiers can still exist.

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