Sunday, 26 February 2017

Tal National - 2015 - US Radio Sessions

Let's jump over the east border of Mali and visit with Mangue Music for the 2nd time (after Les Filles) the country of Niger to hear some radio sessions by Tal National.

Tal National in the New York metro (source: WFMU)
adapted from bio at
Tal National spent more than a decade crisscrossing Niger, usually on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their CDs on street corners and roundabouts. In the process, they became Niger’s most popular band. In Niger, a former French colony, can be found Songhai, Fulani, Hausa, and Tuareg populations, all of whom are represented in Tal National’s members.
In Tal National’s music we hear the rolling 12/8 rhythms in the Hausa’s Fuji percussion, the pensive aridity of the Tuareg’s assouf and the exquisite griot guitar of Mali’s Songhai, all delivered with virtuoso precision and unrelenting energy. The band speaks French, but use the American term “very rock and roll” quite seriously, implying their awareness that the loud guitars and bewildering rhythmic complexity separate them from their West African peers.
On stage Tal National perform with six musicians, but because of their rigorous performance schedule there might be up to thirteen members at any one time. At shows, musicians regularly change places midway through songs (including the amazing sight of drummers swapping without missing a beat). On some nights the band might split up to play two gigs simultaneously.
In 2013 they recorded and released their first international album 'Kaani', after which they went on an international tour, playing North-America and Western-Europe. Their 2nd international release 'Zoy Zoy' was recorded in Niamey, Niger’s capital, by Chicago-based producer/engineer Jamie Carter, using a remote recording rig in a dusty makeshift studio. In the tour around this release of this album, they did radio sessions for WFMU in New York and for KEXP in Seattle.

"The first thing that hits you when you listen to Tal National is the band’s tightness and fiery energy." --NPR (2013)
"The music keeps leaping ahead with one surprise after another: guitar parts that align and diverge and reconfigure, drumming that pounces on offbeats. The patterns are crisp, complex and tireless." --New York Times (2013)

Listen to a track from the KEXP Session

TAL NATIONAL 2015 - US Radio Sessions

Tal National - 2015.Apr.11 WFMU
playlist: 1.Kaani / 2.Saraounia / 3.Say Wata Gaya / 4.Ah-ah / 5.Zoy Zoy
broadcasted: 2015.Apr.11 Transpacific Sound Paradise

Tal National - 2015.May.10 KEXP
playlist: 1.Farila / 2.Zoy Zoy / 3.Liba
broadcasted: 2015.May.12 Wo' Pop (with Darek Mazzone)


sources: and

before 2013: 2 unknown local releases (info from NPR story)
2013: Kaani (CD/LP/digital, Fat Cat Records #FATCD/LP.126)
2015: Zoy Zoy (CD/LP/digital, Fat Cat Records #FATCD/LP.137)

Watch and Listen

  • 2013 KEXP Radio Session - youtube
  • 2013 NPR Review - Rock Stars Of West Africa - npr
  • 2013 WBEZ Radio Session - soundcloud
  • 2015 KEXP Radio Session - youtube (with additional 4th track)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Mali - lesser known Hunters Music

In the same show, as from where I catched the previous tracks by lesser known Orchestras from Mali, was a block of Hunters Music from Mali.
Toumani Koné Group, 1986 (© Malick Sidibé) - source

 INFO about the HUNTERS (or DONSO)

source: mali-music (through
Throughout all of Mali the Hunters ("donso") have a status of their own. Their Brotherhood is placed above any ethnic, religious or caste-oriented rifts. It is the oldest traditional institution in Mali. The music is generally reduced to two instruments, the Karignan (a piece of iron that is scraped) and the N'goni Donso ("hunter's n'goni" with three strings) which accompanies the songs with the insistent repetition of its three notes. A flute can be added to these instruments. The songs function is primarily to reassure and encourage the members of the expedition during those long evenings spent in the bush, without the slightest shelter or protection.

Listen to Yoro Sidibe (track from VA-Mali Lolo)


11.Toumani Kone - Sojoko Finkele (from K7 Vol.2, red cover) - full K7 at wrldsrv
12.Seydou Traore et Ensemble, Toba Seydou - Ntalan (from K7 Marasa 1)
13.Yoro Sidibe - Nema Yiridon (from K7 Yoro Sidibe Vol.2)
14.Mamadou Sangare - Goni Somangonifo (from K7 Mamadou Sangare Vol.2)

source: WFMU Gateway to Joy with Donna - 2012 September 29 - Strictly Malian

Info about the Hunters presented here:

Toumani Koné aka."the Lion of Wassoulou"
Seydou Traore et Ensemble, Toba Seydou
  • Toba Seydou is nickname of Seydou Traore
  • info and one album from hardwax:
    (Toba) Seydou Traore was born in the early 1960s near Bougouni in Mali, where as a young child he heard the music of hunters. Seydou’s ensuing fascination led to much family conflict, but he persisted, later becoming an apprentice of renowned musician Yoro Sidibe.
    In this context the word protégés apprentice is not inaccurate; not everyone can decide to become a donso, and the gift is said to be passed down from strong women to strong sons; it is equally a gift to be able to recognize which young boys have what it takes to brave both the bush and the strings of the donso ngoni. Young men are apprenticed to the great elder musicians and earn their place in the hierarchical society of the donsos.
    Seydou eventually became a master in his own right, consistently satisfying listeners across Mali with his strong voice and truly comic sensibility.
  • album "Toba Seydou Traore" (#YY.006)* is out of stock at hardwax (see above), but seems available at dragcity
  • Marasa 1 (no info found) only for Marasa 2 (not including the posted track)
  • other albums available at iTunes: Marasa 2 / Doni Doni / Danfaga Sambou
Yoro Sidibe
  • biography at mali-music (through
  • Vol.2 (no info found), but Vol.3 posted at wrldsrv
  • biography fromt iTunes:
    A respected musician for some 30 years, practicing ritualistic tribal music that dates back to the 14th century, Yoro Sidibe is a donso ngonifola (hunter's musician) from the Wasulu village of Babbala, in the southwestern Malian hinterlands. Typically, donsos play to get the hunters riled before they leave for a hunt. Dressed in floppy hats and mudcloths with muskets draped on their shoulders, the hunters take to their bicycles in search for animals while Sidibe sings, chants, and strums in an intense trance. Over the years, as well as performing and teaching students, he released several dozen cassettes that were sold by street vendors in the village. Costing less than an American dollar, one of these boombox recordings caught the ear of field recorder Jack Carneal while he was visiting Africa with the hopes of tracking down indigenous musicians. After some convincing, he secured the rights to issue some of Sidibe's recordings on CD for the nonprofit label Yaala Yaala Records. In early 2008, the label paired with Drag City to release Yoro Sidibe's self-titled album. --Jason Lymangrover
    available at iTunes: Yoro Sidibe*
  • album also at dragcity: Yoro Sidibe (2008, #YY.005)*
Mamadou Sangare (?or Madou Sangare?)
  • no info found, but some videos with hunters music by Madou Sangare, so it could very well be him, if anybody knows more please comment

Note: *for Yaala Yaala Recordings, see comments to this post by Ngoni

Video to watch (when downloading):

Yoro Sidibe - source: flickr from Cris Ubermann

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mali - lesser known Orchestras (1970s)

I regularly check the New York radio station WFMU, there's always something interesting to listen to, be it live or from their archive.

Kati - timber market (source: Chochoviny) Gao - Niger (source: Jacques taberlet)
near Banamba (source: Lengyel Krisztian) Dioila (source: Traore Bakari)

Sometime in 2012 a whole 'Gateway to Joy with Donna' (3hrs) was dedicated to music from Mali, from the original stream of that show I have for you a set of 4 lesser known Orchestras from Mali, all 1970s recordings and mostly broadcasted from tape-copies. About the orchestras themselves is hardly any info and not any one picture to find on the whole wide web (that's why the photos above).

Listen to Thiawara Band de Kati

MALI - Lesser Known ORCHESTRAS 1970s

1.Thiwara Band de Kati - one track (from Dionkolony, 1976)
2.Thiwara Band de Kati - another track (from Koumi Djasse, 1978)
3.Orchestre Regional de Gao - Taray Kongo [?] (from Recordings Radio Mali, 1976)
4.Orchestre Regional de Gao - another track (from Recordings Radio Mali, 1976)
5.Souala Band de Banamba - Yoli-Yoli (from Souala Band de Banamba, 1977)
6.Souala Band de Banamba - Laissez-Laissez (from Souala Band de Banamba, 1977)
7.Baniko Jazz de Dioila - one track (from Baniko Jazz de Doila, 197x)
8.Baniko Jazz de Dioila - Seyni - Laba Sosseh cover* (from Baniko Jazz de Doila, 197x)

source: WFMU Gateway to Joy with Donna - 2012 September 29 - Strictly Malian

*listen to Laba Sosseh's original from 1969 - and it's 7" flip-side Que Se Funan

Info about the Orchestras (radio africa) and their places of origin:

Thiwara Band de Kati (ca.15km north-west of Bamako)
  • only known songs: Noumou Lakouloumba, Djanfa Magni and Seme Mala (on VA-Regard Sur Le Passe# etc. and VA-Panorama Du Mali#)
  • also known as Tjiwara Band de Kati
  • musicians: Sylvain Keita (chef d'orchestre, saxophone), Karim Diakité (trumpet), Mamadou Traoré (trumpet), Adama Niambelé (saxophone), Adama Coulibaly (tumba), Leo (drums), Amady Diallo (timbales), Soulemane Sissoko dit Gris (rthythm guitar), Mahamadou Bagayoko dit Al Capone (rhythm guitar) Papa Diabaté (lead guitar), Mahamoudou Sissoko dit Danger (bass), Boubou Touré (organ), Mahamadou Sangaré (vocals), Souleymane Cherif (vocals), Massambou Wélé Diallo (organ, vocals) (from Ngoni):
  • Tji-wara is the figure of the antilope that scratching the ground with its paw discovered us the agriculture - more info see Tji-wara
  • band is probably the civil version of the military orchestra of Kati
  • Mamadou Traoré (trumpet) is the father of Rokia Traoré
Orchestre Regional de Gao (on the Niger, ca.1000km north-east of Bamako)
  • only known songs: 22 Novembre, Tandina and Wotti Bayen (on VA-Regard Sur Le Passe# etc. and VA-Panorama Du Mali#)
  • also known as Songhai Star, (from Ngoni):
  • in 1976 Songhai Star featured Sidi Touré and Doumma Albarka
  • members mentioned in text of 'Panorama du Mali': Ibrahim (Hamma) Dicko (vocals) and Yaya Coulibaly (solo guitar)
Souala Band de Banamba (ca.125km north-east of Bamako)
  • no info found
Baniko Jazz de Dioila (ca.150 east of Bamako)
  • also known as Baninko Jazz de Dioila
  • with Adama Namakoro Fomba on guitar


for best enjoyment, listen when eating
SOME, ordered straight from MALI