March 22, 2009

Boum!

When it comes to Guinean music from the 1960s I have thought for a long time that there were only two 'players': Syliphone and Tempo. In the last ten years a few Guineans appeared with recordings on other labels (Pathé, Ngoma and few Ivorian labels), but that was about it.

But recently this lp has popped up in what appears to be two different forms. I would like to stress the "appears", because I am confused. Our friend Graeme Counsel sent me a copy of an lp on the East-German Electrola Ausland Sonder Dienst label. And recently another friend and regular contributor of wonderful music to this blog, Faas, came up with what appears to be the same lp, but printed in West-Germany and without a word about Electrola. Are we dealing with a covert infiltration?

I can only hope that this is the first of a stream of undiscovered treasures from the vaults of socialist Eastern Europe. Because there is no doubt that is a real Treasure!

The lp contains five tracks by the Orchestre de la Paillote, two by the Orchestre du Jardin de Guinée and three by the Orchestre de la Bonne Auberge. The latter of the three was, if I understand Graeme correctly, a predecessor of Paillote (and that orchestra was a predecessor of Keletigui et ses Tambourinis).

All tracks are -like all Guinean music from this era*- great, but some are extra remarkable. Like Paillote's version of "Yo Vine Pa'Ve", a track which I recently discovered through the amazing ListenToYourEars blog in a version by Cuban charanga artist Belisario Lopez. Apparently the margins of Sekou Touré's 'authenticité' also allowed a version of "La Paloma", in this case by Orchestre de la Bonne Auberge, and also "El Checheré", performed live by Paillote, may very well a version of a Latin song. Jardin has an alternative (to the one on SLP 2) version of "Fruitaguinée". Certainly remarkable is the instrumental version by Bonne Auberge of the Malinké traditional "Djandjon" (titled "Yamaré lé" on this album), which breaks off without warning. The last track is more in line with the 'normal' Syliphone repertoire. Named "Kindiakayé bara tongo" on the sleeve, the title on the label is "Kindiakayé bara gagné, coupe P.D.G.", - no doubt an ode to the Parti Democratique de Guinée.

DYL 006

*according to Graeme the lp is from 1965

12 comments:

reservatory said...

Boum à Conakry was listed in the Balladins discography on the back of the Popular African Music CD reissue of their third LP (with bonus tracks). I never expected to actually hear the thing, but the internet has surprised me again. My African sun rises and sets on Guinea, so THANK YOU for this!

avocado kid said...

Lovely cover! can't wait to listen to the contents.

kissmynoose said...

A minor point of interest - if the dancer on the cover looks familiar to some, it is only because she also graces the inner gatefold of "Les Ballets Africains" by Ensemble National de la Republique de Guinee (Bel Air 411 043, ca.1969). I suspect that for once the musical contents will be as alluring as the cover. Thanks very much for posting yet another record I thought I would never hear.

Anonymous said...

not so strange.
east germany was one of the countries that did development work in guinee in the old days.
this record was maybe the proof of that.
also there are russian releases of super mam djombo and the anc cultural group.
some ivestigation can be helpful on the east european and african connection

gracenotes said...

Lovely. Many thanks for this.

jan duinkerken said...

hartelijk dank voor voortdurend wonderschone muziek!

Anonymous said...

wonderful record many thanks

WrldServ said...

@kissmynoose: you mean this photo. I strongly suspect it's the same girl on the front cover of that Bel Air lp....

ReeBee said...

Many, Many thanks

icastico said...

I love the stuff by Orchestre de Bonne Auberge. Somehow reminds me of the Chicha coming out of Peru at around the same time.

grooVemonzter said...

Maybe my favorite album cover of all time.

David said...

@kissymynoose, and others, might be interested to know that I just found that frequently-reproduced pic of the nice lady on the back of a Ballets Africains programme from 1964. She is Fanta Kaba, and apparently danced with the Ballets for 30 years. A much more recent photo, still looking good, is here.