Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

15 May 2013

Burkina Faso

There seems to be an intense lack of interest by the western music listener in the music of Burkina Faso. There are phenomenal bands & musicians from Burkina Faso (or Upper Volta). One such band is Dafra Star.

Tidiani Coulibaly started Dafra Star in 1975 after having left the famous Volta Jazz Orchestra. Only one year later, his new group won first prize at the National Festival of Modern Music.

The winning song is featured on the A-side of this LP. The song is simply called "Recital-1 eprix Festival Musique Voltaique-1976". The guitar & horn section are fantastic. The guitarist is none other than Zoumana Diarra, who in the 1980s went on to play with Super Biton, Rail Band & Super Djata.

The B-side contains five great songs with a slight Cuban influence, kinda Afro-funk, also with bambara flavor, but the music of Upper Volta has a style all its own. It has been labeled ‘voltaique’.

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Side A –
Recital 1 eprix Festival Musique Voltaique-1976

Side B –
Super Diarabi


El Hadj Hamado Kanazoe is an African Sufi singer. He was born in Mané, not far from the town of Kaya, in north-central Burkina Faso. Since 1970 he has been living in Ouagadougou. El Hadj Kanazoe started singing when he was 12 years old. He has released 15 studio recordings. This is acapella religious chanting for the head & heart.

Sufism (Arabic: تصوّف‎) is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a ūfī (صُوفِيّ). They belong to different uruq or orders, congregations formed around a master, which meet for spiritual sessions (majalis) in meeting places known as zawiyahs, Khanqahs, or tekke. El Hadj Hamado Kanazoe is a disciple of the Tidjani leader Cheikh Aboubakar Doukouré.
Hamado is the most famous performer of Wazu music, a style that alternates chanting of the Koran in Arabic, with moral commentary in Mooré, the language of the Mossi people. If you have never heard this kind of singing before, I think you will be amazed & enthralled by the richness of sound & harmony in this purely Mossi version of Quranic reading. These centuries-old West African Islamic practices are in danger of being uprooted by Islamic fundamentalists, whose advocates may disparage these as ‘unIslamic’ or ‘unorthodox’. The words I’ve heard it called are more accurate, I believe: “Majestic, otherworldly”.

El hadj Hamado Kanazoe, Bazar Musique BM 401, 197?.
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Face A –
Nabi Yaam Pingr

Face B –
Nabi Yaam Siifo


This is a fantastic compilation of rare 70s African groove music. Most of the bands & musicians here are already well known to Afrophiles. Artists like Amadou Ballaké are among the nations greatest (if not the continent). Bands like l’Orchestre Super Volta, Le 5 Consuls, & Afro Soul System are all well respected, well known groups.

The landlocked West African nation of Burkina Faso, which was known until 1984 as Upper Volta, didn’t have civilian radio until 1939. Even in the 50s it took music from the US a year to reach Voltan ears. But it’s not totally isolated. In the 70s when this music was being made, economic conditions in Upper Volta forced many adults to travel to neighboring countries to seek work. There they were exposed to Latin American rhythms, US soul music, & the emerging national sounds of these neighbors.

There’s the obvious Cuban club/dance influence in Amadou Ballaké’s “Baden Djougou”.
There’s James Brown soul in Jean Claude Bamongo’s vocals on Afro Soul System’s “Tink Tank”. There’s Congolese beats & guitar riffs in Orchestre CVD’s “Rog Mik Africa”. What really makes this Voltan is the mix of Mosse, Fula, & Mandé local dialects. & the way the guitar licks are laid down, the arpeggio heavy organ runs, & Afro-soulful singers.

Various Artists – Bambara Mystic Soul – The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso 1974-1979
Analog Africa AALP 070 (2xLP), 2011.
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Side A –
Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta - Bar Konou Mousso
Abdoulaye Cissé- Kodjougou
Compaoré Issouf - Dambakalé
Amadou Ballaké et Les 5 Consuls - Renouveau

Side B –
Afro Soul System - Tink Tank
Mamo Lagbema - Love, Music & Dance
Amadou Ballaké et Les 5 Consuls - Baden Djougou
Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta - Johnny

Side C –
Coulibaly Tidiani - Sie Koumgolo
Mangue Konde et Le Super Mandé - Kabendo
Orchestre CVD - Rog Mik Africa
Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta - Sali

Side D -
Mamo Lagbema - Zambo Zambo
Richard Seidou Traoré et Les Vadou du Flamboyant - Katougou
Amadou Ballaké et l'Orchestre Super Volta - Oye Ka Bara Kignan
Sandwidi Pierre et l'Orchestre Harmonie Voltaique - Tond Yabramba

Enjoy this sampler of the Burkina Bambara experience, then go find the ones you like to buy & cherish,


  1. Dafra Star
    El Hadj Hamado Kanazoe
    Bambara Mystic Soul

  2. So much of this African leg of your journey is virgin territory for me. You're Doing The Lord's Work here. And I thank you again.

    1. Then the Lord surely does work in mysterious ways

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I was after the Coulibaly Tidiani record for quite a while and still didn't manage to get it on vinyl.

    Tobias (Bochum, Germany)

    1. Well, thanks you for your comment. Mp3s not as great as having the vinyl, but you can listen to it until that lucky day when you land that licorice pizza.