16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last several years have seen numerous reissues of West African pop music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Amazingly, the well hasn’t run dry, and in 2011 Analog Africa released the appealing collection Bambara Mystic Soul. The artists here drew from a number of styles, both local and imported. Six of the album’s 16 tracks feature Amadou Ballake fronting either Orchestre Super Volta or Les 5 Consuls. On “Renouveau,” fluttery guitars create a dreamy psych web behind Ballake’s intense vocals, while “Bar Konou Mousso” has an electric guitar solo bristling with rock ‘n’ roll energy. Mamo Lagbema’s “Love, Music and Dance” evokes Fela’s drive, and Dambakale’s funky “Compaore Issouf” comes decked out with dazzlingly inventive keyboards. “Tink Tank” by Afro Soul System is a rough-hewn delight, where choppy parts hang together to create a particularly gnarly groove. The album wraps up with the wonderful “Tond Yabramba” by Sandwidi Pierre & Orchestre Harmonie Voltaique. It’s a distinctive and well-arranged piece, an artful amalgam of African elements and garage pop.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The last several years have seen numerous reissues of West African pop music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Amazingly, the well hasn’t run dry, and in 2011 Analog Africa released the appealing collection Bambara Mystic Soul. The artists here drew from a number of styles, both local and imported. Six of the album’s 16 tracks feature Amadou Ballake fronting either Orchestre Super Volta or Les 5 Consuls. On “Renouveau,” fluttery guitars create a dreamy psych web behind Ballake’s intense vocals, while “Bar Konou Mousso” has an electric guitar solo bristling with rock ‘n’ roll energy. Mamo Lagbema’s “Love, Music and Dance” evokes Fela’s drive, and Dambakale’s funky “Compaore Issouf” comes decked out with dazzlingly inventive keyboards. “Tink Tank” by Afro Soul System is a rough-hewn delight, where choppy parts hang together to create a particularly gnarly groove. The album wraps up with the wonderful “Tond Yabramba” by Sandwidi Pierre & Orchestre Harmonie Voltaique. It’s a distinctive and well-arranged piece, an artful amalgam of African elements and garage pop.

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5:26
5:12
4:38
4:46
4:17
4:08
3:32
4:06
4:20
4:07
7:43
4:45
4:05
4:31
4:02
5:38

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