I don't have the sleeve of this cassette, and there is reason for this.
I first heard this cassette by the great singer Molobali Keita (of whom I posted his fourth volume earlier) in Mali in 2000. I already had a few of his later cassettes and, although I had to get used to the drum kit which he had introduced to complement the traditional instruments, these had slowly but surely grown on me.
But that sweaty night in Bamako, listening to his second volume I heard for the first time the Molobali I subconsciously always had known existed. It was one of those rare moments that people, place, ambiance and music synchronised.
It took some effort to get a copy of this cassette, but I think you'll agree it was worth it. Technically it certainly isn't Molobali's best recording, but the vibes on this cassette are incredible. I advise you to play it late at night, outside - if you can - or when the house is empty.
All the tracks are traditionals from the Sikasso (or Kénédougou) region, and more particular from the region around the town of Sikasso, which is the source of an incredibly rich balafon tradition.
Super Sound SS 42
To give you an idea of what this music looks like, here is a video from Malian television. I assume it is from approximately the same time as the cassette. The line-up is at least very similar. The round gourd drum is a type of 'bara' (which comes in different sizes). The title on this video is "Shinyana foli", but on Volume 3 the same track is called "Signana Tolo" (and I suspect the latter is the correct title).
PS: There is another (and much better quality - especially in HQ) video featuring Molobali & Mama Keita here (thanks Scott for reminding me).
John Peel's World of Music #2 (12 years)
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