Originating from Normandy, France and now based in Marseille having lived for spells in Brighton, Bristol and Brussels, Yann Tambour began recording in 2001 under the name Encre, a project combining samples of strings, piano and voice. Following a series of album and EP releases under that name and having returned to his original instrument, the classical guitar, Yann started to experiment with the kora (the lute-bridge-harp made from calabash gourd and cowhide commonly played in West Africa), gradually developing his own playing technique and soon building his own lighter, more compact versions of the instrument. Marrying this with his singular approach to the singer/songwriter mode, Stranded Horse (formerlyThee, Stranded Horse) came into being in the mid-noughties.
‘Luxe’ is the third Stranded Horse album after ‘Humbling Tides’ (2012) and ‘Churning Strides’ (2007), with material from the latter reinterpreted on a 2008 EP and tour with feted Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko. Meanwhile, Yann’s instrument-building endeavours continue – his most recent creation being a chromatic kora with harp levers, made out of keno wood, maple and formica christened the ‘formikora’.