PAGE 7 : Upper Volta (=previous name) / Burkina Faso
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Baba Commandant And The Mandingo Band ('15)
V.A.: "Bambara Mystic Soul" ('74-'79)

Analog Africa                                 V.A. : Bambara Mystic Soul 
-the raw sound of Burkina Faso- (BF,1974-1979,re.2011)****

Burkina Faso was first called Upper Volta between 1919 and 1984 with independence, a republic after French occupation since 1958. The Middle class invested in music, which made a birthplace with a certain variety in styles. On this album you can hear the range that made up the inspirations. Most of the tracks have a kind of relaxed hypnotic groove. Partly this is inspired by afro-funk and it has elements of it on guitar and with brass arrangements, bass and organ, but it sounds much more relaxed and more afro-styled with a lead singer telling a story, or getting away with the smooth groove, or finding a few call-and responses, now and then with backing vocalists, females or a group of harmony singers. The rhythms have some repetition, percussion and drums have a certain polyrhythmic complexity without breaking through the relaxed general groove. A few tracks have more clear Cuban influences, especially the kind of Caribbean guitar repetitions including a summer feeling in some tracks. The organ always provides some melodic or improvised accents based upon the rhythm grooves, and here and there a bit more guitar but not too much.

The first new bands were L'Harmonie Voltaique and Super Volta (both featured in this compilation), based in the capital Ouagadougou, after which other bands, who were attracted to this success, were brought to the capital like Echo del Africa National and Volta Jazz, and after which followed to the birth of two labels in 1974 called Volta Discobel and Club Voltaique du Disque (or CVD) who promoted the best artists from the period, especially Amadou Ballaké who’s featured a lot on this compilation. There has been a few more compilation from this area, the label had a bit more time to be prepared for this compilation, again this comes with extensive liner notes and photographs.

Info :

Audio :
More info on Traoré Seydou Richard :
More Amadou Ballaké
Cissé Aboulaye :
Traore Seydou Richard & Orchestre Les Vaudou du Flamboyant : 
Coulibaly Tidiani :
Afro Soul System :
Mangue Kondo :
Orchestre CVD

Discographyy Burkanibe records :

Some tracks were published before on
Another Burkina Faso compilation :

Sublime Frequencies  Baba Commandant And The Mandingo Band : Juguya (BF,2015)****

​This is the first new band the label releases, but in fact the style is rather timeless and difficult to pinpoint to an era. Their sound is heavily inspired by Afro-beat, but brought with the power of early African rock music, rhythmically engaged as if having some effect of funk, while remaining structured like Afro-beat. The lead singer is the story singer, with powerful voice, getting responses from group vocalists, while the rhythms are empowered by several electric rhythm guitars, thumb piano, electric bass and drums, with extensions by solo fuzz electric guitar or wild sax improvisations. A few tracks give more voice to the vocals, are rockier or more acoustic. We hear subtle interesting accents like guitar effects in the background (on “Folon”) or drums taken over by percussion (including cowbell). The music is rooted in traditional Mandingo music, while it’s approach is modern and with the approach of a rocker, while it’s songs get the treatment that gives them both groove as a more powerful voice. One of the traditional instruments used is the West African ngoni, a kind of mini rhythm guitar-typed accompanying instrument with kalabash body and 6 harp strings.

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