March 06, 2009

Kaloum Star live

Kaloum Star is one of those bands from Guinea that has never really made into the limelight. Founded in 1969 by 'Maître' Mamadou Barry (the one with the big smile on the right) they only managed to get a couple of tracks on two lp collections and three single records on the Syliphone label.
I suspect this may be a result of their choice of repertoire. In Sékou Touré's Guinea there was a clear preference for the culture of the presidents ethnical group, the Malinké (or Mandingo). Susu, Peul (Fula) and the many other cultures of Guinea only featured in the folkloric music of ensembles instrumentaux or in ballet. Kaloum Star's strength lay in the Susu rhythms derived from the yankadi street parties.

It wasn't surprising that Maître Barry was very optimistic after the demise of Sékou Touré. "Without a policeman watching our every move you will see an explosion of musical talent in Guinea", he commented in 1986.
A year later they embarked on a European tour, which also led them to the Melkweg in Amsterdam. Their concert on May 22, 1987 was recorded by Dutch radio (to be precise by Dave van Dijk for VPRO Radio). Of these recordings here are five tracks (unfortunately I don't have the titles of these tracks).

I managed to get a copy of the promo cassette which they sent to the programming staff of the Melkweg. Recorded live in Conakry, the drive and energy of these four tracks is unbelievable, and it's the best (by far) of what I have heard of Kaloum Star.
Judge for yourself!

10 comments:

icastico said...

I have one track from these guys (via Voodoo Funk, iirc). Great stuff. I look forward to hearing these.

jeanluc said...

Wow - Thanks for the music!

I think I have 3 more songs from the Melkweg. Probably from the same time. I think I took it from the VPRO in 1987 or 88. What do you think? (I recorded it after I reading this post...)

At the end from the third Dave van Dijk names the tunes.

reservatory said...

THANKS!! To jeanluc as well! I have a feeling this stuff will make me very happy indeed. I love the two compilation tracks I've got - Lalaba and Maliba. Anybody got their Syliphone 45s #569 and #570?

aduna said...

The promo cassette is just incredible!
Thank you so much.

& for reservatory & Kaloum Star lovers, here are Syliphone 45s, Syl 568, 569 & 570 :

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zjgxmhzih0z

icastico said...

Added thanks to jeanluc and aduna...great stuff.

WrldServ said...

@jeanluc: Thanks for those extra tracks. I have more tracks of this concert, but I just wanted to post a selection. This post was mostly about those brilliant promo tracks...

@aduna: thanks to you too for those singles.

Later on I will post the two lp's which feature Kaloum Star tracks.

reservatory said...

Ask and I shall receive. THANKS aduna, jeanluc and, of course, worldservice! This ancient (me, not the music) records collector loves the internet!

Andrew said...

Woah! I toured Africa with the U.S. State department's Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program in 2007 and we encountered Maitre Barry (as well as the sax player behind him and bass player in the photo) playing in a band called "Gumbo Jazz" - we performed with them in a concert and had a great workshop in the Paillote (former home of, I believe, Keletigui et ses Tambourins?) - Great to see and hear them on here!

Anonymous said...

One minute I have never heard of Kaloum Star, next minute I feel like my local expert! Thanks to everyone for these. What a great band they were.

kreismyr said...

Where have I heard track 4 from the Melkweg tape before? Salif Keita?