Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bambara Mystic Soul

The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso 1974-1979

The Analog Africa series has to be just about the best researched and well-versed of any number of labels that work to bring half-forgotten or unreleased African music to the rest of the world.  The latest entry into the series, Bambara Mystic Soul presents the music of Burkina Faso, a country I know absolutely nothing about, or at least knew nothing about before diving into this sixteen-track deep compilation.

As usual with this series, Samy Ben Redjeb has traveled extensively throughout the country to locate old records, and securing that, finding the musicians on them to secure the rights to release the music world wide.  The first chunk of the rather thick book that accompanies this disc recounts his voyages, before going into interviews with the artists on each track.

What emerges is a picture of a country and its music at a time when pan-Africanism promised a balm to the continent's ills.  The music on this disc is uplifting and hopeful.  Latin influences lie beside Afrobeat, as stars like Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta, Afro-Soul System, Orchestre CVD, Mamo Lagbema, and many others hold forth.  This is a recommended album.

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