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The record was produced by longtime P.J. Harvey collaborator John Parish—who has a record of his own film music due from Chicago's Thrill Jockey imprint on April 16 called Screenplay—and he also plays guitar on it. The beats are played on drum kit (by Seb Rochford of Polar Bear, who also played on the debut album by Fatoumata Diawara) and human beatboxer Jason Singh rather than the usual calabash and tam-tam, and the main guitar parts are played by Italian musician Stefano Pilia, known better for his membership in 3/4 Had Been Eliminated and working with David Grubbs than for his involvement in African music. But boy does it all work. The complexion and edge of the music has changed, but Traore hasn't—but she does bust out some very different cadences on today's 12 O'Clock Track, the aggressive, backbeat-propelled "Beautiful Africa." I've only listened to the album once, but it sure feels like something I'll be coming back to all year.