At the beginning of this new year I would like to wish you all the very best!
I am starting this year with some music from a country which has so far remained unmentioned in this blog. There is a very good reason for this: I know next to nothing about it, can't read and don't understand a word of arabic, and a generally a total stranger to the - no doubt - wide range of cultures in this vast country. I have never been to Sudan, and the cassette I would like to share with you was not bought in Sudan. Well, at least not in the country we now call "Sudan". The cassette (on the right) does carry an indication of where it was bought: "BMDA" stands for "Bureau Malien du Droit d'Auteur". So the cassette was bought in the early 1990s in the former French Sudan. In fact, there were quite a few cassettes of Sudanese music available in Mali, and I may post another later.
You can read more about the artists featured on this cassette, Al Balabil, on the GhostCapital blog, although I hasten to add that the information is limited, and I get very itchy when African artists are labelled as African versions of western stars (in this case "The Supremes of Sudan" - aaaaarghh!).
cassette 1169 (or here) (new links January 22, 2012)
I have no video of this female vocal trio, but I do have some videos of other Sudanese artists. One of my favourites is this one, by Kamal Tarbas, of whom many videos can be found on YouTube.
I just love the relaxed 'ambiance' of this video, recorded (sometime in the 1980s) on the banks of the Blue (or White?) Nile. And the music is simply wonderful.