SABA - Jidka -
NETWORK/RIVERBOAT RECORDS TUGCD 1047
the moment I heard the first few bars of Saba’s debut album, Jidka (The Line),
I knew I was going to like it.
in Mogadishu the capital of Somalia, Saba was born to an Italian father and
Ethiopian mother who had to flee to Italy to escape the ongoing political and
repressive climate of Somalia, Saba was five years old at the time. Jidka is
an album where Saba creates a bridge and re-connects the present to her past,
the land of her mother and her mother’s mother.
fist song 'I Sogni' with its rippling Kora and gentle hip hop rhythm more or
less sets the style and pace for the rest of the album, a collection of
‘conscious’ songs from the Somalian Diaspora with a fine selection of ballads,
lullabies and an Ethiopian wedding song in honour of Saba’s Ethiopian born
Saba’s sweet, frail yet assured voice is joined on djembe, guitar and
percussion by long-term friend and collaborator, Taté Nsongan from Cameroon
and on vocals by Felix Moungara. Saba is also accompanied by Senegalese Kora
player Lao Kouyate on a number of tracks, his Kora skills lending a very ‘West
African’ feel to track 3 ‘Hanfaarkan’ which also features some nice accordion
work by Fabio Borevero.
in a mixture of the Italian/Somalian vernacular and English this is an album
that is probably best described as more ‘hip hop’ than ‘traditional’. Jidka is
a smooth, accomplished and well produced album that’s not for the purist in
search of the original Somalian sound. It is no more an introduction to the
music from Somalia as Emmanuel Jal’s album (Ceasefire) is to The Sudan or
Darra J’s (Boomerang) to Senegal. This is music from the Diaspora, the
Somalian Diaspora, where Saba lives. All things considered a very cool &
stylish album and a great debut.
name Saba has a variety of meanings depending on which language you choose as
reference, it variously translates as ‘Morning Sun’, ‘Wind from The East’ or
‘Woman from Sheba’ after listening to this album I think it can probably mean
all three. PB
some audio samples click