Les Têtes Brulées - Hot Heads (1990)

«Les Têtes Brulées (the name means the hot heads or the burnt heads, but implies, more pointedly, the mind-blown) are truly hard to miss in a crowd. The five-man lineup sport neatly torn t-shirts, elaborate dots-and-bars body paint over most of their skin, retro mirror shades, Afro mohawks, huge sneakers, and trademark day-glo book bags that they wear through their electrifying stage shows.

The brain child of journalist turned musician Jean-Marie Ahanda, the well-named band blew the minds of many in hard-to-shock Cameroon. When the singer, who was serving as arts critic at the Cameroon Tribune, founded Les Têtes Brulées in 1986, he wanted to present an alternative to the zouk and makossa music that was dominating the country at the time. Combining the Bituksi rhythm of the Beti tribe with electric instruments, Ahanda’s band brought something very fresh to Cameroon’s music scene. The band’s image was as surprising as its music – while many zouk and makossa artists went for costumes and a very Western look, Les Têtes Brulées sported tribal body paint.

Les Têtes garnered international attention to match their local fame after members appeared in two documentaries: Man No Run, which recorded their first tour of France, and Bikutsi Water Blues, which featured band guitarist Zanzibar discussing the politics of water in Cameroon. […]

Consistently inspired, Hot Heads underscores the band’s resilient nature. Les Têtes Brulées had suffered a major loss in 1988, when guitarist Zanzibar committed suicide. But in 1990, this solid effort proved that the outfit still had a lot to offer. What truly sets Les Tetes apart is their pioneering attempts to bring a punk mentality to a highly traditional art form.» (AMG)

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Musics & Musicians of the World: Mongolia (1990)

«The UNESCO Collection of Traditional Music of the World included more than a hundred pioneering audio recordings of the world’s traditional music published from 1961 to 2003 on a number of different recording labels. The series was launched in 1961 in collaborariginal context. Each recording was accompanied by scholarly annotations and photographs. Together, these disks are a reflection of the immense variety of music making and of the position music holds within cultures around the globe.

From the beginning of the 1990s, most of these recordings were reissued on CD by the label Auvidis, which later became Naïve. Until 2003, a total of 115 CD titles were released. These reissues, new issues and compilations were made available under five new series: Music and Musicians of the World, Anthology of Traditional Music, Traditional Music of Today, Celebration Collection and Listening to the World.

In 2005, the collaboration with Naïve ended, and the titles are currently not available for purchase. However, a new partnership is in preparation in order to make the titles of the Collection available again to the general public. In addition to the previously released issues, some 15 unpublished titles will finally be released. More information will be posted on this internet page when it becomes available.» (Unesco)

For more info about this specific release, see the explanatory booklet included.

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Mandingo - Watto Sitta (1984)

«Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognised Kora playing Mandingo griot who was born in 1950 in the Gambian village of Sarre Hamadi, a village in the Wuli District, in the Upper River Region. He is a virtuoso master kora performer and composer from a hereditary lineage of other Jalis. […]

In 1977, Suso flew to Chicago in the US where he began his recording career as well as forming a group, Mandingo Griot Society, with the percussionist Adam Rudolph. […] Since then, he has taught and recorded with many well known jazz artists, including the trumpeter Don Cherry, and Herbie Hancock, with whom he recorded the album Village Life while on their tour of Japan. The group opened new ground in what is known as World Music in numerous other collaborations, such as with Ginger Baker using Suso’s skillful and heavenly playing of the West African lute in a number of pieces.

After the band broke up they Suso re-united with its members Rudolph and Hamid Drake in 1984 to create the album Watto Sitta. The album was produced by Bill Laswell, and was a milestone of modern African music, skillfully and effortlessly merging Suso’s cutting-edge kora playing with an effortless equilibrium of natural and synthesised tunes.» (accessgambia.com)

For more Foday Musa Suso’s projects on Babe(b)logue click here.


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