Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Yacouba Sissoko Band – Chanson Denko Tapestry

Track 8 from the 2013 album Maison des Jeunes, Yacouba Sissoko and his band bring a feast of percussion to this collaboration compilation. The musicians on the album were a real range of characters. Songhoy Blues did their début European performance in London at the album’s launch party, with producers Damon Albarn and Brian Eno present to help things along. British artists Ghostpoet and Metronomy were also involved not only in the production of the album but in nurturing the talent that were lucky enough to get a foot in the door. It was an important moment for the Malian music industry, but also for the British scene too. Bands like Songhoy Blues have become astonishingly popular in UK hipster circles, along with other West African superstars like Ebo Taylor and Fela Kuti. Rarely can an evening out go by in the bars of East London or Peckham without 1970s Ghanian Funk making an appearance. Well, at least in the places I hang out…

The Sissoko Band track is fairly unconventional for a Malian peice.  It has that familiar mesmerising rhythm, but its the drums that take the lead, with the ngonis yielding to their pace and melodies. Its a dance, perhaps even a duel. They flicker, twist and turn together, endlessly keeping pace. One unknown element is the title; does anyone know what the Chanson Denko Tapestry is?

Yacouba Sissoko Band – Chanson Denko Tapestry

Sam Garbett is Public Affairs Coordinator for the Mali Development Group – www.malidg.org.uk.

To get in touch with Sam for further information he’d be happy to hear from you at sam.garbett@malidg.org.uk. Any comments and ideas for improving the Hub are especially welcome. We all look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for tuning in.

The Mali Interest Hub is an initiative run by the Mali Development Group, supported by the Alliance for Mali.

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