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Kankouran Ba

Kankouran Ba

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Price: €26.80

Product Notes

"Bafoulabé The Band" is a project that combines influences of diverse West African cultures, where the roots of ancient oral Manden and Susu traditions meet with the expressive modalities of new popular ghetto urban music from around the world, including rock, jazz, electro, rap and reggae. Bafoulabé - comes to life in response to the encounter between Africans and Italian musicians - representing a dream; the vision that music can overcome barriers of diversity and can tie people's hearts in a sort of concrete brotherhood. Bafoulabè Band is active since 2010 with the intention to group together the best musicians coming from the African diaspora residing in Italy. To the Bafoulabé project musicians and griots coming from Senegal, Guinea, Gambia and Ivory Coast have fiercely participated bringing with them their stories, their instruments and their music. During the years they have proposed a repertoire of traditional Mandé music: epics and stories passed on by griots from father to son, narrating the Malian empire and it's heroes. Bafoulabè symbolizes the encounter between peoples and cultures, often difficult in the beginning but with time it has generously rewarded those who have cultivated a sincere interest. The Bafoulabé musicians come from Senegal and from Guinea Conakry, but their cultural roots are common, their joint history grows from the time of Mali Sadio and of the west African ancient empires - the Susu empire and the Mande' empire, the Gabu kingdom, the Wolof and Cajor kingdom, the Serere, the Sine Saloum and Baol kingdoms. Those civilizations and cultures developed in West African starting in the beginning of the 11th century until the arrival of the Europeans who came to steal lands and people. We stole from them, yes, and we deported them overseas to work the land, but even though centuries have passed since then, yet today we know nothing about them. Kankuran Ba is the first studio work for Bafoulabé, after many years of live concerts and jams. The setting that leads the project comes from the desire to overcome the distance between different cultures, maintaining the sense and the magic of their original and consistent meanings. Those are made available through the research of a new aesthetic, based on a universal grammar of urban music coming from a globalized world. The new and first album of Bafoulabè Band is composed by twelve original songs where the singing, in Mandé, is about the sense of surprise facing the divine creation, about friendship and wisdom, the importance of helping each other and the hope that fate will satisfy the spirits. Music that comes from afar and that goes deep, the joy of living with mysterious simplicity. Exceptional guests have participated to the Bafoulabè project. They have further enriched the compositions of the band. Maël Bailly, French, with his viola has added a touch of European poetry; the Jamaican singer Charley Anderson - ex Selecter - and the Malian Kassemady Diabate, known as the "voice of Mandè". They contributed to the production with their extraordinary interpretations as precious jewels. The Bafoulabe work includes 12 tracks where various rhythms like makossa (Duwa Den), soukusse (Kanù), zuglù and cupe decale (Senò) meet with mbalak, saurubà (Kankuran Ba). Accompanied by the sound of the electric afro funk bass and the bougaurabou, played as a Cuban conga, they transport the listener into a dreamy and melodic dimension. The melodies are so rich, as if the harmonies go beyond the spectrum of what is audible, running after insisting riffs, hypnotic, meditative, nervous and coagulated. The harmonic progressions of the songs apply a modality that highlights the most important cadences that allow the music arrangements to bear the infinity of tensions, creating micro variations and polyrhythmic patterns. The music approach proposed in the songs is a modal approach and it's development happens only through the melodies that change from an ensemble of few short notes "themes" which are set to allow the creation of complete compositions. As the Bafoulabè musicians all come from music traditions which are transmitted orally, improvisation has a key role. The modality used by Bafoulabè is to search for an emotional effect in the audience, that corresponds to an emotion of calm, peace and relaxation, and at the same time trying to introduce the idea of something that is suspended, ancient, undisclosed to the modern western ear. By choosing the major key, they offer a more happy and positive timbre. This is the case for songs like Karan Balia or for example in Julà. The songs have complex rhythms which overlap and all have the same relevance. The rhythmic accents used are measures composed of lines indicated in 6/8 even if the pace is in 4/4 (like in Allah Tento Kila Tento). The adlifts played by the kora can play irregular and odd although they don't come out of the common metric measurement. It is a sort of "fake sound" like much of the African music is able to do well. In some songs where the rhythms are complicated, like Fanta or Domà, the "clave" (the same one used for soukouss or for the Cuban son), is used to organize the songs so as to give the listener a sequence easily recognizable. In Kilagnima for example, the rhythmic cell has a strong accent on the first movement - typical of European music - without isolating it or leaving it unchanged as if being another rhythm, using it as if it was polyrhythm, an hipnotic repetition of short solo's that come in and out from the initial opening. The lyrics are always on three different levels: the religious mystic one (all the songs refer to creation and the divine laws); the typical griot praise; the social one (all songs face the complexity of modern life, the complaint of an overwhelming condition or the ideal of "chivalry" values which should never be put aside: friendship, love and honesty). Julà sings about the courage "of those who struggle to move on"; it is also a song of praise to all the Julà families that possess a system of "kinship" with the Diabate. Julà is inspired and dedicated to Solo Cissoko. Karan Balià, is about instruction: it's privation leads humanity to oblivion. Karan Balià is dedicated to Ba Kairaba Djabi, an important spiritual guide. In this song the chorus is sung in Baye Fall style, they remind us to neglect material goods and to work hard because work together with education promotes and guides the inner journey of spiritual perfection. Duwa Den is a thanksgiving to God to have received a blessed child. Duwa Den is an homage to HHaby Bamba. Farafina Nganà, sees the extraordinary participation of Kasse Mady Diabate and is dedicated to great men of West African history. It is an invitation for young people to take as example. If honesty is not for everyone, as sung in Allah Tento Kila Tento, friendship and love should know no frontiers; Fanta (dedicated to Fanta Diabate) is about friendship which doesn't depend on gender nor age while in Kanù, love wins over all. Domà is about power and corruption, while Senò, is again about labour and how this gives dignity and freedom to the people. Kilagnima is mystic and spiritual, it is about the nostalgia and sorrow ("gnenafin") caused by the distance from one's home and land. Kankouran Ba is the mask of circumcision, it embodies order and social rules, exorcises the collective fears and protects kids after circumcision while becoming men. It is dedicated to those who have the courage to become adults. Charley Anderson has sung as guest on Gabu Dread. Dred in Wolof means blood. This reggae song is about the ancient blood running through the veins of the Mande' and is a story about the kingdom of Gabu. This song is dedicated to Mama Janke Wali.


Artist: Bafoulabe the Band
Title: Kankouran Ba
Genre: International
Release Date: 11/06/2014
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 8068057017282


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