Sunday, 29 January 2017

Kakande - 2008.Feb.16 Radio Session WFMU

I'm hungry, so let's move on to where we can find some mangos, to Guinee Conakry, where we encounter the band Kakande lead by the brilliant balafon player Famoro Dioubate.
Actually to hear their/his music we had to jump over the big pond into New York, as this is where they are living and recorded this balafonique session.
Famoro Dioibate with balafon

Info from WFMU - Transpacific Sound Paradise:
Kakande is a big West African / American band that combines African and European instruments, rhythms and melodies. The centerpiece is the brilliant balafon (xylophone) player from Guinea, Famoro Dioubate. Kora (harp-lute) player Yacouba Cissoko extends the traditional vibe - but there are also guitars, drum kit, woodwind instruments - even cello.
Kakande warms up tonight (2008.Feb.16) for the Dununya CD release party at SOBs in NYC on Sunday 2008.Feb.24.

from PR-info by Jumbie Records:
Not many musicians can claim an 800-year musical legacy as balafon master Famoro Dioubate can. From one of the most prestigious families of griots in Guinea, Dioubate is a guardian of traditions dating back to the 13th century in the ancient Mandé Empire. Named for his ancestral village, Dioubate’s ensemble Kakande is an extension of the lineage that he knew back home, bridging this near millennial tradition to modern audiences.
As legend holds, the balafon appeared magically in the forest almost a thousand years ago where it was discovered and guarded jealously by mighty sorcerer-king Sumanguru Kante. Eventually it was re-conquered by the founder of the Mandé Empire, Sundiata Keita, who bequeathed it to his griot to play and protect.
Today, Dioubate is a unique artist in the Mandé musical world; keenly aware of the tradition he was born into, yet eager to reshape it. He carefully crafted this ensemble to serve his aesthetic curiosity. His inclusion of non-traditional elements is a nod to the dynamic and fluid nature of tradition. In a blindfold test, even the most educated listener of traditional music would have trouble discerning that many in the band are not African, and may be surprised to learn that the least traditional elements, the inclusion of the cello for example, were part of Dioubate’s own artistic design.
Eight hundred years of tradition is a heavy, daunting legacy. But for Famoro Dioubate and Kakande, tradition is picked up, dusted off, and fashioned anew. “We are musicians,” says Dioubate. “We have something together, and good musicians know no boundaries.”

Listen to Kakande

KAKANDE-20080216_Radio Session WFMU

setlist: 1.Kakande / 2.Bani / 3.Souaresi / 4.Dununya / 5.So Si Sa* / 6.Balafon Solo by Famoro Dioubate
*cover from Super Boiro Band song "So Ississa" (1975, 7", Syliphone)

Kakande: Famoro Dioubate - balafon, vocals / Yacouba Sissoko - kora / Raul Rothblatt - cello / Sylvain Leroux - flutes / Kolipe Camara - djembe / Sean Dixon - bass / Andy Algire - drums / Dave Ellenbogen - guitar / Missia Saran Dioubate - vocals

More Info about Kakande


2002: Famoro Dioubate on VA-Badenya: Manden Jaliyaa in NY City (Smithsonian)
2008: Kakande - Dununya (CD, Jumbie Records #JMB.0008) - jumbierecords
2008: Famoro Dioubaté - Douyoré (on VA-African Dreamland, CD, Putumayo Kids) - putumayo
2014: Famoro Dioubate - Kontendemi (digital only) - bandcamp and wuladrum

After all this travelling really need one


ps1: musicians playing abroad with others from other cultures is 'not always' to my taste, but this Kakande from New York/Guinee with a Balafon in the center played by a real Master I like very very much

ps2: Famoro if Trump's travel-ban in the future will have impact on you, you're always welcome in 'Pays de Mangues', and of course this statement is valid for all people who show respect to other people (which can not be said about the greatest grabbing DJ at the moment)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Festival Musiques Sacrees du Monde in Fes (2011)

After the Festival au Desert let's travel a little north to the Festival Musiques Sacrees du Monde in Fes, Morocco. In 2011 Dutch radio send out their man, Gustavo Pazos, to make recordings. He had visted the festival several times in the past, so knew where to go for the most interesting music.

poster for the 2011 Festival in Fes

Here's the info from the (former) Dutch Radio6 site:

Every year is organized in the Moroccan city of Fes the festival Musiques du Monde Sacrées with lots of traditional, classical Arabic music, composed and improvised music and crossover into popular urban culture. As the name of the festival suggests, the various musical expressions of religion are central. All three great monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), but also different polytheistic and animistic religions. Hotel Central and theme channels Contemporary Radio 4 was filmmaker Gustavo Pazos from Jun.03 till 11 in Fes this year for the shooting. In two episodes of Hotel Central (on 2011 July 30 and September 3), this material is played with a full explanation of Gustavo Pazos.
Included: Dhrupad music from North India, performed by the Gundecha brothers / Homayoun Sakhi, a young Rubab player from Afghanistan / Divana Ensemble performs the music of the manghaniyars and langa's from Rajasthan / Youssou N'Dour and his incredible group Super Etoile du Dakar (unfortunately recording failed) / Sufi brotherhoods from the region / The Qawwali Sufi singer from Pakistan / Music Hajir Marawis from Cirebon on Java.

Listen to Homayoun Sakti - L’Art du Rubab

VA-FESTIVAL-2011_Festival Fes

full playlist:
  • 0.Ensemble directed by Armand Amar - Intro from Oratorium Leyla et Majnun (2:40) - composed by Armand Amar from Iran - rec.2011.Jun.03
  • 1.Brothers Gundecha - L’Art Sacre du Dhrupad (24:00) - traditional from India - rec.2011.Jun.07
  • 2.Homayoun Sakti - L’Art du Rubab (7:13) - traditional from Afghanistan - rec.2011.Jun.07
  • 3.Ensemble Divina - Chants Soufis du Desert du Thar (18:00) - traditional from Rajasthan - rec.2011.Jun.07
  • 4.Ensemble directed by Armand Amar - Udfvoile from Oratorium Leyla et Majnun (11:14) - composed by Armand Amar from Iran - rec.2011.Jun.03
  • 5.Four different Sufi Brotherhoods from Fes - unknown titles (23:00) - traditional from Morocco - rec.2011.Jun.08
  • 6.Fareed Ayyaz et Orchestre Arabo-Andalou - Qawali (22:00) - traditional / Fareed Ayyaz from Pakistan - rec.2011.Jun.10
  • 7.Ensemble Syubbanul Akhyar - Chants et Musique Hajir Marawis de Cirebon (11:30) - traditional from Java, Indonesia - rec.2011.Jun.11
  • 8.Asmae Lamnawar (vocals) avec Said Chraibi (ud) - unknown title (3:30) - traditional from Morrocco - rec.2005
  • 9.Oualed al Bouazaoui et Chaabi Ensemble - unknown title (12:14) - traditional - rec.2006
source: two broadcasts on Dutch Radio 6 - VPRO Hotel Central - 2011.Jul.30 / 2011.Sep.03
as usual is included all the talk in these broadcasts (total 2x2hrs) in the download, do with it whatever you like
also included are (google) translations of Gustavo Pazos' diaries about the festival (as published on the former Radio6 pages)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

African Music from Philips

Let's walk on a little further back in time, guided by the same radioshow 'VPRO Wandelende Tak'. They broadcasted once a special about African Music issued by the Philips label.
9 sleeves from African Records issued by Philips (source: VPRO radio)

African Music from Philips

2004.Nov.22, VPRO Wandelende Tak, Google translation:
The Dutch firm Philips began in the fifties on a global scale with pressing and publishing vinyl for the local and international market. In Africa, Philips had built a number of vinyl factories and recording studios. Into the 1970s Philips maintained a strong position in the African market, till the record manufacturer lost interest for it because of economic headwinds, but also because of the obligation in many countries to work together with a local partner.
In the intervening decades, Philips had all the local styles from traditional to contemporary issued by its record labels. Including later internationally renowned musicians such as Fela Kuti and the African Brothers. In Europe, Philips also began early in publishing worldmusic in series such as "Song and Sound Around the World" or the "UNESCO Collection'. On the bases of his choice out of a heap of singles and LPs, Fred Gales revives in this program the African past of Philips.
source: (through

Listen to a 1978 track by 'The Ashanti Brothers Band'

VA-AFRICA_Philips Recordings VPRO (196x-7x)

Full Playlist:
01.Djaho Gole - Gbaolahon - 196x Ivory Coast
02.Djallo Nouhoum - Blaco Joukou - 196x Mali
03.Sinali Koulibaly et Balafons - Amara Sanogo - 196x Mali-Ivory Coast
04.Gom Koudougou - Naba Koum - 196x Burkina Faso
05.Mboo Ferdinand et Orchestre - Hingondabidjou -196x Cameroun
06.Odolaye Aremu - Adela Jare - 197x Nigeria
07.Ashanti Brothers - Saa Na Yede Beye Wo - 1978 Ghana
08.Kawonawo Rhino Boys - Mukazi Omubi - Uganda 78rpm
09.John Ondolo - Ashante - 197x Kenya
10.Ongo Ensemble - Eci Ameya - 1976 CAR
11.Ko Nimo and Adaman Group - Wiase Nsem Doose - 1978 Ghana
details about releases collected in download

Note: during the radioshow (in 2004) is stated that none of these Philips recordings has been reissued (on CD), this could very well still be true today!!!!!!

Probably related release:
VA-Premier Festival Mondial Des Arts Nègres - Contributions Musicales Des Nations Africaines (1966, LP, Philips #88097.DL)
a1.Soundioulou Sissoko, Mané Foca - Air de la Légende de Massané Cissé [Sénégal] / a2.Trio Ny Antsaly - Mandany Resaka [Madagascar] / a3.Amara Kamara - Zazou Wara [Mali] / a4.Gom Koudougou - Naba Saara [Haute Volta] / a5.Ensemble National de la Cote d'Ivoire - Gambia [Cote d'Ivoire] / a6.Oum Jean, Paula Isidore, Mboo Ferdinand - Maman - Malagal - Wa [Cameroun] //
b1.Starlite Band - Baby Yara [Ghana] / b2.Djallo Nouhoum - Makali [Guinée] / b3.Sinali Koulibaly - Amara Sanogo [Soudan] / b4.Afame-fune Okoye - Ipke And Ajoka [Eastern Nigéria] / b5.Aminu Olaribigbe - Wundia Asiko [Western Nigéria] / b6.Afamefune Okoye - Okpa Akwago [Mid-Western Nigeria]

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Festival au Désert 2003.Jan.6-8

This time of the year (early January) was the time of the yearly (since 2001) held 'Festival au Desert' near Timbouctou, Mali. The last one was held in 2012.January, a few weeks later started conflicts in the area, which finally lead to a civil war in the northern part of Mali. In 2013 French troups intervened, and in June a peace deal was agreed. Unfortunately up untill now the situation is still not such that the Festival can be organized.
2003.Jan.06-08: camel and tents at the Festival au Desert, Mali
I first heard about the Festival, when, after just having signed up to, receiving the first days 2003.January an Email, which was send from Timbouctou on the way to the Festival. Well I can tell you that I was very interested in hearing some more about that mysterious Festival. Here is the text from the original Email:

Festival of Desert report... enroute in Timbuktu (2003.Jan)

Greetings from Timbktu... enroute to Festival of the Desert in Essakane. We are staying in Hotel Hendrina Khan, just recently opened and part of the signifigant building activity here since our last visit on the Mali Magic Tour of 2000. The harmattan winds have kicked up a yellowish dust but the air still feels clean and refreshing. The mix of Touareg and Songhrai and Peul people here is beautiful. Glad to see most people are still wearing traditional dress. Powder blue is the cool desert color of choice. We visited with Markus James and Timbuktubab, rehearsing for their Festival performance and recording new songs. Solo Sidibe on kamele ngoni, Hamma on calabash and Hassi on njarka, one string fiddle, and Markus James on guitar and vocals. They were recording the sound of women pounding millet and playing along with that for the rhythm. Cool. They also played Banning and me a new recording featuring the sound of the Sahara wind playing Solo's kamele ngoni. Very cool. Hamma and Hassi are singing more with Markus these days and the ensemmble is excited about their Festival in the Desert performance Tuesday night. For our Saturday night in Timbuktu, we went to a Ramata Diakite concert. She is one of Mali's most popular Wassoulou singers. What a scene ! Everyone dressed in their finest. The band was tight, feaaturing a kamele ngoni player and a guitarist. Ramata is a charismatic performer. The MC stopped the action after every song to announce local dignitaries in the crowd and do a raffle. Not the best for building concert energy and we were exhausted after three days travel to get to Timbuktu so we called it quits early. On to Essakane tomorrow to set up camp for the Festival. Don't know about Internet connections from the desert but stay tuned. Meanwhile, I'm thrilled to be able to communicate with the Afropop community from Timbuktu! --Sean Barlow (Afropop)

It appeared that for the 3rd edition of the Festival many international media were invited, so a lot of information and several recordings became soon available (papers, magazines, radio, CD* and DVD*). The one I have here for you is, I think, one of the least known. Recordings made by  DJ mps PILOT (real name Horst Timmers), done with off air, and broadcasted 2003 on Dutch Radio 4 in the 'Wandelende Tak' (meaning Stick Insects / Walking Sticks) program.
note: *if you don't have these, get them first before downloading the audio here

Here's the original 2003 info from mps PILOT himself:
Had a good start: the 3rd of januari I took off by plane to Mali to play at the remotest festival of the world; le Festival au Désert. This was in Essakane, a tiny village 70 km north-west of Timbouctou. The scene was fabulous; there were about 1000 Tamashek nomads with their camels and tents. They came to meet, have camelraces, court, sing and danse all day till late in the night under a million stars. And there was the official program of about 30 bands like Tamashek Groups as Tartit, Tinariwen and other artists like Ali Farka Touré, Lobi Traore and Oumou Sangaré. The crème de la crème. From the west there was a.o. Robert Plant playing some Tamashek influenced pieces. And the festival had a deejay! I played twice at from 00.30 on in the bar-tent, nice but not a success: the largest amount of the public was dead-tired after a full day of concerts in the sand by 30 degrees celsius. And the last night the majority of the public was dragged out of the festival by the major tour-organisator joining in on the festival, after the last gig. Too bad. It would be nicer to make a real festive end of the festival, and for the westerners to have a relaxed departure the day after. But anyway, off we went (together with Andro Biswane, the Fra Fra Sound guitarist who was there for research) to Bamako, and after a killing though beautiful trip of two days we arrived to stay at the music school of worlds leading koraplayer Toumani Diabaté. He invited me to stay there and work on a piece of music together with Mali Musov, a group of 8 female musicians playing the ballafone, kora , percussion instruments, guitar, bass and using vocals. This is an initiative of Festival Mundial in The Netherlands that will hopefully invite them to come and play in The Netherlands. So if this happens, I will make an electronic soundscape on which they will play a long version of a traditional song. Nice, nice. So we sat together and they played and played and it was great. Bamako is filled with sound. It is the major cultural product of Mali, and heard allover the place, in a diverse mix of the oldest hunter music of Yoro Sidibe untill the latest Hiphop of the streets of Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. In the week I stayed there I played on a soundsystem in the street, in Toumani Diabaté's Club hogon, and in Platinium, one of the chiquest discotheques (called boites) of Bamako. So after a massive 2 weeks I returned home... to count my money and listen to the stuff I recorded and bought.
On 2003 March 03 there will be at 19.00 my report of the festival with recordings of Tamashek meetings and concerts on radio programme on VPRO Radio 4 in the Netherlands.

Listen to a recording of Tidawt:

VA-DESERT-2003_Wandel Tak VPRO

Playlist 2003.March.03: 1.Tarbiat - Final (Niger) / 2.Tartit - Tombouctou (Mali) / 3.Tamasheq - Improvisation (Mali) / 4.Tamasheq - Improvisation (Mali) / 5.Tel Kin Lokiene - Improvisation (Mali) / 6.Tidawt - Agadez (Niger) / 7.Super Onze de Gao - Improvisation (Mali) / 8.Tamasheq - Music at Night (Mali) / 9.Chetsin Sin - Improvisation (Mali) / 10.Ali Farka Toure - Final (Mali)

All audio recorded by DJ mps PILOT, 2003.Jan.6-8 at the Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali.
Broadcasted 2003.Mar.03 on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak' (my source is from the, not available anymore, radiostream)
In between the tracks is talk in Dutch about mps PILOT's adventures at the Festival and in Mali. All the audio is split-up in tracks and talk, so you can listen to whatever you want.

More audio from the 2003 Festival au Desert:

*if somebody can play this, please let it be known in the comments

More information/articles about the Festival au Desert:

afropop worldwide
  • 2001 and 2003 reports included in download (as not available anymore thom their website, all are collected through
2003 Festival au Desert
some reports about later Festivals
my wish at least once having listened to some great music, while surrounded by camels

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Espoirs de Coronthie - 2013.Oct.19 Dortmund

Wish You All the Very Very Best for this New Year, and let's start off 'Manguetique'good by listening to some music from Conakry, Guinee.

Funkhaus Europa presents Guineas Dream Team - Les Espoirs de Coronthie
Solidarity, energy, joy and virtuosity are the hallmarks of one of Africa's most extraordinary bands. Les Espoirs de Coronthie are twelve artists from the slums of the Guinean capital of Conakry, which have made their credo the band name "Coronthie's Hope". With balafon, guitars, banjo, percussions and three lead singers, they have established their own very vital urban sound, which sounds more exciting than ever on their fourth album "Fougou Fougou".
source: program in from Domicil, Dortmund

More info about 'Les Espoirs de Coronthie':

Listen to a track from their 2013 concert in Dortmund [D]


setlist: 1.Yole / 2.Baby Lova - Marafany Khroko / 3.Tatiti / 4.Babadi / 5.Justice / 6.Vicgnesse / 7.Fatigué / 8.Miss / 9.Aventure / 10.Mamayo / 11.Fougou Fougou
source: FunkHaus Europa - 2015.May.21 World Live


2002: Patriote (K7, self produced)
2004: Dunuya Iguiri (K7, self produced)
2005: Wokhöyikhi (maxi-single K7, DS Vibrations)
2008: Tinkhinyi (CD, Wountanara Prod.) internationally released in 2009
2013: Les Espoirs de Coronthie EP (Wagram Music / Chapter Two Records)
2013: Fougou Fougou (CD, Wagram Music / Chapter Two Records)
2016: 20 Ans de Carrière (??)

Espoirs to watch: 

Profiter de la musique!
Always EAT them RAW!!!