As I have mentioned in an earlier post Alou Fané and Daouda 'Flani' Sangaré were the first to record kamalen n'goni music. The recordings were made in the studios of Radio Mali in 1968. But they were released a few years later, on an lp on the Disco Club Bagoué label in Abidjan.
The focus in this album is equally divided between Alou (sitting down playing the n'goni on the photo) and Flani (on the right looking down). Alou is the lead singer in four of the eight tracks. These are clearly 'his' tracks, with titles like "Komo" (referring to a -secretive rather than secret- initiation cult in which members of the blacksmith families have a special place) and "Noumousso" ("house of the blacksmith" - a track which he later used with the Super Djata Band). In some of these tracks Flani plays the kamalen n'goni.
This lp should make an end to a popular misconception, that the kamalen n'goni music is a 'watered-down' version of the dozon n'goni (hunters) music of the Wassoulou region. In all aspects this is a completely original music style, with links to local music styles of the Sikasso region. In future posts I intend to dig deeper into those local styles.