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African Jazz

West Africa: Frikyiwa's Mix of Ancient and Modern

By Published: April 10, 2004

Most of these tunes are dance music of one kind or another, though some stray closer to conventional ideas of dance; some sample huge chunks of the music being remixed, while others prefer bits and pieces. The two freshest tracks are label head Frédéric Galliano's remix of N'gou Bagayoko and Tokyo Black Star's remix of Hadja Kouyaté and Ali Boulo Santo. (Those same two choices of source material make up five of nine tracks.)

Tokyo Black Star places chant-like phrases within a meshwork of relatively crisp beats that insistently imply the clave, Latinizing Kouyaté's voice in an eerie manner that seems odd but yet natural at the same time. The last part is key. Bite-sized chunks, plunked down both in line and askew with respect to bar lines, flow forward naturally. Not surprisingly, Galliano's effort also works well. He takes it straight to the dance floor, and while the four-to-the-floor beats can be at times repetitive, such is the nature of such a beast. The reworking of the vocals are the secret, aligned so that they form a sort of extended poetry.

Luciano's remix of Kouyaté and Santo is full of eerie blinks and scrapes, dots and flicks. It's so different from the rest that it stands out starkly in contrast. The machine-like nature of its framework outright rejects the analog quality that the source material brings to the project.

Frikyiwa Presents brings together a fairly wide variety of electronic artists, with reviving approaches in most cases. It's an interesting complement to the two additional sets of Frikyiwa remixes available on Six Degrees ( Collection 1 and Collection 2 ), which draw from artists like Pole and Catalyst, but it's just plain better.

Art highlights: Red and purple textile textures overlaid with Frikyiwa's leafy plant-in-pot logo. Multimedia: None.

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Track and Personnel Listings

FKW001: Manding-Ko

Personnel: Hadja Kouyaté: lead vocal (2-5,8-9), chorus (5-6,8-9), claps (6). Ali Boulo Santo: lead vocal (3,5-6), kora (all), wah-wah effect (2,5,8). Plus Manfila Kanté: electric guitar (6) and eight other guests (4,5,6,8,9). Recorded in Dakar, Senegal on March 1-2, 2000.

Tracks: 1. Djigui 2. Agné Tolona 3. Si Tu M'Accompagnes 4. Barra 5. Sembéré 6. Bakari 7. Allah Laké 8. Toukan 9. Diefadima

FKW002: Nuits Sur Ecoute: Bougouni

Personnel: Lipitone: samples, organ, production. With N'Gou Bagayoko, Poupé, Diefadima Kanté, Ali Boulo Santo, and others. Recorded in Bougouni, Mali, February 2001.

Tracks: 1. Taama 2. Restaurant "Bon Coin" 3. Bougouni Sou 4. Les Somonos Part 1 5. Les Somonos Part 2 6. Miri 7. Diarabi 8. Foly 9. Fadjiri Seli

FKW006: Siran

Personnel: Filifin: voice, kamele n'goni, carignan; N'Gou Bagayoko: guitar. Recorded in Bougouni, Mali in January, 2002.

Tracks: 1. Foly 2. Siran 3. Kokouma 4. Sondila 5. Yiri 6. Wati 7. Dia

FKW007: Kulu

Personnel: N'Gou Bagayoko: guitar, ka, carignan. With Nahawa Doumbia: vocal (3,9), Ramatta Doussou: vocal (5,8), Mai Sanogo: vocal (4), Maimouna Keita: water's calabash (4), Fanta Koné: concon barani (2,6), Filifin: kamele n'goni (4,7). Recorded in Bougouni, Mali in January, 2002.

Tracks: 1. Cle 2. Yaga 3. Bakari Bamba 4. Sogola Djigui 5. Kulu 6. Niessoma 7. Tielassigui 8. Yala 9. Dogotorow 10. Maman

FKW010: Nuits Sur Écoute: Bignona

Personnel: Louis 2000: soundscape recording, electronic, arrangements, and guitar (7). Kéba Kébé: voice (7). Ka-yito Orchestra: precussion (3). Yaya: Diolla flute (8). Recorded in Bignona, Senegal in February, 2002.

Tracks: 1. Kassoumaye 2. La prière 3. Le kumpo ded reve 4. Le chasseur d'ombre 5. Bignona ballade 6. Malik song 7. Les oiseaux 8. Les enfants du matin

FKW011: Frankonodou

Personnel: Diefadima Kanté: voice (1-3,6-10), carignan; Hadja Kouyaté: vocals (9); Kaba Kanté: guitar (1-10); Cabiné Kanté: guitar (1-10); Mory Diabaté: balafon (2,5-6,8); Kaba Kouyaté: guitar (5). Recorded in Bougouni, Mali in February, 2001.

Tracks: 1. Saokaba 2. Dudyaya 3. Tissidiba 4. Nanibali 5. Mana Mana Kouma 6. Denon 7. Kara 8. Sienkolowani 9. Diarabi 10. Toro

FKW012: Frikyiwa: La Musique des Maquis

Personnel: N'Gou Bagayoko; Hadja Kouyate & Ali Boulo Santo; Lipitone; Louis 2000; N'Gou Bagayoko; Filifin; Diefadima Kanté.

Tracks: 1. Kulu - N'Gou Bagayoko *2. Si Tu M'Accompagnes - Hadja Kouyate/Ali Boulo Santo 3. Bougoni Sar - Lipitone 4. La Priere - Louis 2000 *5. Tolon Wilikan - N'Gou Bagayoko 6. Siran - Filifin *7. Batoro - Diefadima Kante *8. Balafon Fona - Lipitone *9. Kassoumaye Kiep - Louis 2000 10. Diarabi - Diefadima Kante *11. Miri Magni - Filifin 12. Diefadima - Hadja Kouyate/Ali Boulo Santo (*=previously unreleased)

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