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Grand Rodeo (LP)

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A multicultural explosion of West African, French and Brighton sounds. Stranded Horse is a touring machine centered around composer, songwriter and instrument maker Yann Tambour.Whilst he had developed his own kora playing and teamed up with local player Boubacar Cissokho (cousin and protege of erstwhile Tambour collaborator Ballake Sissoko) In terms of repertoire, there is nothing to stop him from covering Joy Division, the Smiths or even Jackson C. Frank and the moving "My Name is Carnival".

Behind Yann Tambour and his band Stranded Horse lies a faith in chance encounters, a belief that renewal is born out of chaos. They strive to skirt conventions and labels and wed together unexpected genres, rules and habits in an album of erratic wanderings, dance and trance, at a time when more and more get walled off by reluctance and suspicion. But a strange spell, it seems, was cast on our stranded horse since he chose to hit the dancefloor for the first time the very year nobody could. Yann Tambour was first known as Encre at the turn of the millennium. He was then whispering and stacking orchestral samples into a kind of spoken word electronica with an acoustic tinge. But in 2005, he decided to return to his early love for arpeggios and dusted off his classical guitar, all the while growing a fascination for the kora, an instrument symbolic of West-Africa.

But Stranded Horse doesn't forget to draw on the indie heritage that is still very much present, as evidenced by "In A Sharper Fairway", which may remind the most passionate folk fans of the folk-mindedness of Jackson C Franck. As for the choice of English or French, it is a natural one, whether it is a question of immersing oneself into the contemplative and poignant "Sparks Turn To Stone" or entering the frenzied dance of the irresistible "Rumba du trépas", the richness of the lyrics is reinforced by a voice stripped of all artifice, making each composition sincere and authentic. The same is true when, with Youssou N'Dour's permission, Stranded Horse adapts Star Band de Dakar's heady and vast "Thiely" from Wolof to French.


  1. Name
  2. Towards A Warning Glow
  3. Le Ciment Dessous Nos Pieds
  4. In A Sharper Fairway
  5. So Low
  6. Rumba Du Trepas
  7. Spark Turn To Stone
  8. Thiely
  9. So High
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