Posts Tagged ‘every song has its end: sonic dispatches from traditional mali’

Various Artists – Every Song Has its End: Sonic Dispatches from Traditional Mali | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on April 15th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Kassoun Bagayoko-©Amsatou Diallo-Free

Words by Nigel Williamson

Every Song Has Its End - Cover

A picture from Mali

Over the last few years the Bamako-based producer Paul Chandler has travelled across Mali making field recordings of traditional musicians in villages and dusty crossroad towns. These dozen tracks come from his archive and present a fascinating picture of music played in a traditional context for ritual, ceremony or simply to accompany the chores of daily village life. The range of styles is impressively diverse.

There are haunting ululations from the female singers of Group Ekanzam (featured on the covermount CD); a spiritual evocation of the djinns by Group Tagout; spiky Songhai drones from Super Onze; and a declamatory hunter’s praise song played on the simbi (hunter’s harp) by Sidiki Coulibaly (pictured above). Not forgetting the haunting Bamana singing of Bina Koumaré and Madou Diabaté, and the balafon pyrotechnics of Kassoun Bagayoko. It’s music full of otherness, offering a rare window into an ancient way of life that few of us can fully comprehend, although our contextual understanding is aided by a second disc featuring video footage of the performers. It’s reassuring that Malian traditional music continues to exist in so many guises, unmediated for commercial purposes. But for how much longer, one can only guess…


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Top of the World May 2016: The best new releases

Posted on April 1st, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the May (#117) issue.

Konono No 1 & Batida
Konono No 1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)

Konono No1 & Batida - Konono No1 Meets Batida Cover

Five years since their last album, the innovative Grammy-winning group Konono No 1 are back and are joined by Portuguese-Angolan DJ Batida on this hypnotising collaborative effort.

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Snowboy & The Latin Section
New York Afternoon (Snowboy Records)


With an illustrious discography going back to the late 80s, conguero Mark ‘Snowboy’ Cotgrove and his group release their first album on his eponymous label.

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Astar (Breabach Records)

Breabach - Astar Cover

Scottish group Breabach return with a new album packed full of global musical influences from their travels. A mix of original compositions and covers, Astar exhibits a new, exciting direction.

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La Yegros
Magnetismo (Soundway Records)

La Yegros - Magnetismo Cover

Argentinian nu cumbia singer La Yegros is accompanied by some noteworthy guests on her commanding and rhythmical sophomore album.

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Michael Messer’s Mitra
Call of the Blues (Knife Edge Records)

Michael Messer's Mitra - Call of The Blues Cover

Michael Messer’s Mitra transform Mississippi blues songs with Hindustani sensitivities for a delightful project that was mostly recorded live.

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Kris Drever
If Wishes Were Horses (Reveal Records)


A solo album from Lau’s Kris Drever, this showcases what may be Drever’s best work yet, with insightful lyrics penned against a backdrop of warm instrumentation.

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Veretski Pass with Joel Rubin
Poyln: A Gilgul (Golden Horn Records)


Traditional Polish and Jewish music are brought together and masterfully executed on a memorable album by Veretski Pass and Joel Rubin.

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Group Ekanzam
Every Song Has its End: Sonic Dispatches from Traditional Mali (Glitterbeat)

Every Song Has Its End - Cover

The diverse nature of Malian traditional music is showcased across 12 tracks gathered by Bamako-based producer Paul Richard Chandler.



Lakou Mizik
Wa Di Yo (Cumbancha)


Lakou Mizik’s debut is a passionate tribute to the people and culture of Haiti. Formed in the aftermath of the country’s 2010 earthquake, the collective deliver a project of celebration and hope.

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Full Attack Band
1001 (Full Attack Band)


Argentinian saxophonist Alejandro Toledo leads a new life in a new band, one that showcases a firm strength, fervour and clear experience in their musical arrangements.

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