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

Friday, March 23, 2012

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

Posted By on 03.23.12 at 12:00 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

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

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories