Friday, March 23, 2012

12 O'Clock Track: Karantamba, "Sama Yai"

Posted By on 03.23.12 at 12:00 PM

In recent years lots of Westerners have been scouring Africa for obscure records to reissue in Europe and the U.S., so I'm happy to see that a label from Dakar, Senegal, dug up the best rarity I've heard all year: Ndigal (Teranga Beat), a stunning album of hard-hitting mbalax from Karantamba, a group led by Gambian guitarist and composer Bai Janha, of Guelewar fame. This album isn't merely obscure; it's previously unissued, which is mind-boggling once you hear the thing. It was cut in 1984, while Janha was working with this group of young musicians—all of whose identities have been lost to time—in a nightclub in Thiés, outside Dakar.

All the trademarks of Senegalese mbalax are here—huge, looping grooves, explosive punctuation from sabar drums, stinging lead guitar, and infectiously soulful Islamic-tinged vocals. The recording is appealingly raw and loose, and the band is on fire. Today's 12 O'Clock Track is a cut called "Sama Yai."

Karantamba, "Sama Yai"

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Peter Margasak

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
The Happiest Place on Earth Greenhouse Theater Center
September 22
Galleries & Museums
How Do I Know You? Zg Gallery
September 09

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories

Jadarite Is The Real-World Version Of Kryptonite