February 08, 2009


The first time I consciously heard the music of Mamoutou Mangala Camara the owner of the cassette was very reluctant to tell me the name of the singer. "He is an alcoholic", she said. "He has left the music now, and lives as a drug-addict in Paris", others told me. Some even claimed that he had died from an overdose.

Fifteen years later, Mangala Camara seems to have come out on top. He is an acclaimed star of Malian music, winner of the Tamani D'Or in 2007 and "almost a mix of Mick Jagger, James Brown and Bob Marley" (according to this article). He was one of the stars of the Festival on the Niger in 2007 and 2008, and again in the recently held 2009 Festival. But going by this interview, he still seems to be surrounded by controversy.

His 2006 CD "Minye Minye" has been a huge success in Mali. But, call me awkward, I still prefer the first cassette I heard, and which I am posting here. The cassette was, as far as I can ascertain, first released in 1993 as "Complaint Mandingue Blues" (Badaban BAD 5560), but this version - with exactly the same tracks - is called "Yougou Sague" and is dated 1997.

Mangala seems to have had quite a career before this cassette. And with his extraordinary voice, I am sure we will hear more about him in the near future.

IC 1097


Anonymous said...

It is truth that the Khasonké Mangala Camara is a little over-produced in some tracks of Minye-Minye (Syllart),
but the voice continues being fantastic and is lost the anxiety that he had before.

So many tracks and and so perfect,can get to saturate and perhaps being so varied , they reduce a little continuity of the work,
but it seems to me an excellent work (song by song).

For me, this Yougou Sague is more natural, but less brilliant and Mangala are less relaxed,
even so, I would like to have the inlay and the staff.
If it is possible?

Thanks .

WrldServ said...

At this moment I don't have a copy of the sleeve of this cassette (I copied it in Mali), but I will ask around.
Personally I like the restlessness or 'anxiety' of his singing in this cassette. And, as you say, there is more continuity in this cassette than in "Minye Minye".

Anonymous said...

I have had a brief encounter with a rather drunk and loud Mangala Camara and a bodyguard (!) while I was having lunch in a bar in Segou in December 2006 (he would be playing in Segou later that night). The Malian guy I was with told me who he was. The alcohol thing came up the moment he'd turned his back. The hotel clerk who asked me about the bag of newly purchased cassettes I was carrying the next day said the same thing when he saw the two Mangala tapes. Oh well, let's say the man likes to par-tay! But what a voice though. Respect! Most people over here will probably know Mangala as the singer on the terrific fourth track on Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra CD ('Mali Sadio') - tom

Anonymous said...

Wonderful !!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful !!!

ReeBee said...

if you want the artwork of this album get it here


thank for your work