Two more scratchy singles today, I'm afraid. This time by Senegalese bands.
Although I admit it took me a while to figure out that "Les Dogons con Cissé Macki" was in fact a Senegalese band, or at least a band based in Senegal. I still have my doubts about Mr. Macki's origins, and suspect he or his family may have roots in Mali.
Apart from this is I have little to report on Les Dogons. Their record is another matter though. It contains two remarkable covers, one of Abelardo Barroso's classic "En Guantanamo", which has also been covered by other African artists (notably by Rochereau), although undoubtedly not as often as "El Carretero", - let alone "El Manisero" (and that's an example of what I call world music!).
On the B-side is a cover of another Cuban composition, in this case by Duo Los Compadres. It's a mystery to me why Mr. Macki has picked this rather typical Duo Los Compadres song. In the Les Dogons version it just doesn't seem right.
For good measure I have added the Cuban version, so you'll have an idea what I mean.
The second single is by the Rio Band de Dakar. This band is often mentioned in relation to bands like Baobab and the Star Band, but recordings appear to be more rare. Judging by this single, it is a pity. The A-side features another Cuban classic (and it is so common that I can't even tell you who is the original artist): "Caramelo (A Kilo)". The version is recognisably Senegalese, with some nice guitar and ditto sax.
The B-side seems an original composition by the Rio Band, "Vamos A Bailar (Con El Rio)". A nice enough song, but I have my doubts about the chorus. For some reason the repeated "Con El Rio" gets misformed in my perception to a word which can't have sounded pleasant in francophon Senegal (I leave you to guess the word...).
EDIT December 23, 2010: The Rio Band single is actually N'Dardisc 45-18. I suppose I have misread this...
E.T. Mensah & the Tempos Band Decca West Africa 1975
10 hours ago