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17 Sep 2016

L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti “L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti” 1977





L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti “L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti” 1977  recommended…!
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LOrchestre Kanaga De Mopti is one of the best West-African modern orchestras which originated from a wide range of state funding. In 1977 the Malian government owned label Mali Kunkan, released a series of LPs including this HOLY GRAIL of Malian music. Now available again via an official reissue! …….. 

Malian music has received a lot of attention the past years, and it’s appeal will continue to spread with discoveries like this being exposed outside the record collectors market. Kanaga De Mopti has the sound of a West African orchestra - unified in rhythm and melody. This one found a place in our hearts as soon we heard it! TIP TIP TIP! 

Kindred Spirits kicks off its Mali-series with one of the most in demand Mali records, by L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti. They are one of the region’s modern orchestra groups, who were were able to flourish in the golden age of West African state music funding. In 1977 the Malian government owned label ‘Mali Kunkan’, released a series of LP’s, including this must-have gem……… 

Must-have reissue of this West African orchestra’s most in-demand album, originally recorded in 1977. Usually the preserve of knowledgable record collectors, 'Kanaga De Mopti’ can be viewed as some kind Malian answer to Pink Floyd - only a HELL of a lot funkier. Under the guidance of bandleader Sory Bamba, the group were one of eight regional orchestras set up during the golden era of state music funding, competing with the other seven in the Biennale Culturelle system and ranking second in the four between 1970 and 1976, defeated each time by the mighty Super Biton de Ségou. One of the defining features to the group’s sound is the dual rhythmelodies of Mamdou Soumaoro’s keyboards and a Grand Balafon, the larger version of a tuned percussion instrument akin to a marimba, whose combined Afro-futuristic timbres warrant the Pink Floyd comparison. Around 1977, together with sax, guitars, fula singers, tumba and drums the group settled on an augmented style of traditional Dogon music, the sound of an old, almost secret and and fierce culture, and documented their new sound at Radio Mali. 'Kanaga De Mopti’ is the result, a genuinely powerful, mesmerising set of six tracks ranging from celebratory dance music to reflective, symphonic compositions and including one outstanding track 'Kanaga’, a deliriously funky, echoic and engrossing masterpiece. Now fully remastered and presented in original full colour sleeve with sleevenotes, us lovers are treated to their stunning performance for the first time. TIP! ……… Boomkat Product Review: …. 

Mopti, the Venice of MALI … As VENICE, young people are bored stiff. They are there to be bumming on the banks of river NIGER or either burn out dry on its tributary the sweet name of Bani (link is external). It was then that to brighten up the city formed REGIONAL ORCHESTRA MOPTI. This record dates from 1970 and was registered in the competition framework as was done at the time: Biennials. That year, the “first artistic and cultural biennale of youth”, they finished 2nd. They win in 1978. So this disc is a concert. In the “sacred high class concert.” I’m not going to play the etymology or history of my two. Huh. I prefer to speak German. I know you know look. 

The great success of this, it is the mixture, or merging as we said at the time. The cover is in this sense a very good cover. A mix of traditional and electrical assistance. Electric guitar rolling ass, trumpet makes a nod to the drums and other TAMA, who themselves are burning pace in speed and especially trans there any behind the melodic songs … in the heart .. . in an atmosphere that I would have loved to live … 

Orchestre_kanaga_de_Mopti Mali KunkanDaté 1977 “ORCHESTRA OF KANAGA MOPTI” wants to be a sound recording studio, this album is more accessible, through western with all that entails. Some will say to my right that it’s built better orchestrated, recorded better, better EVERYTHING. Yes ok agree, but I would say to my left that loses freedom, the pieces are now songs, less free stuff, more cramped, best dressed, with makeup, bagouzes and with much less structures wobbly. In short, this is bizarre. And that is why I prefer the first draft of 1970. Less Zouc. Over the earth. Less head. It is not moreover nothing emerges to Dogon masks on the cover .. …… 

Repressed. L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti is one of the best West African modern orchestras which originated from a wide range of state funding. In 1977, the Malian government-owned label Mali Kunkan released a series of LPs including this Holy Grail of Malian music, now fully remastered and available again via an official reissue! In the 1960s, during the First Republic of Mali, modern orchestras were encouraged and promoted by Modibo Keita’s government. Starting in 1960, Bani Jazz became the city and region’s main orchestra before the name changed to the Orchestre Régional De Mopti in the wake of Mali’s Second Republic in 1969. At the end of 1970, the band published its first album under the name of Orchestre Régional De Mopti. This record clearly helped to define Mopti’s vibrant cultural heritage under the aegis of bandleader Sory Bamba. Trumpet player, flutist, traveller and songwriter, Bamba already had a strong musical background when he took over the orchestra in 1969. Around 1976, the Mopti orchestra became Kanaga De Mopti, simply known as “Kanaga” by the listeners of Radio Mali, named after the large Dogon ceremonial mask. Under this new and slightly “more commercial” moniker, the band also performed at private functions and for various regional patrons. In July of 1976, after months of intense musical and cultural research, the orchestra visited the Radio Mali recording studio in order to document its new musical evolution. Six of these songs were featured on the only album by Kanaga De Mopti released in 1977 courtesy of Mali Kunkan, an ad hoc label formed around the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Art and Culture. On side one, the infectious “Kulukutu” and its mesmerizing vocal introduction focuses on the celebration and the joys of marriage between young men and young girls. “N'Do N'Do” digs deeper into the Dogon culture as it displays the masked dances and processions performed by kids on Ramadan nights. The call and response add up to the strong and fierce excitement one can sense within the recording studio. Closing side one, with its introductory bell gimmick, “Sare Mabo” is dedicated to the cloth weavers. Bamba plays the traditional fula flute at the end of that track, giving it a rural edge while the sturdy horns display their powers. Side two opens up with one of Bamba’s most amazing compositions, “Kanaga,” an homage to the Dogon mask and to the dancers who wear it during ritual ceremonies. The brass section is exceptional all throughout the record with tremendous riffs on that track. Electric guitar and organs swirl effortlessly around the melodies on songs like “Gambari” (trans. “green grass”), a griot-like song praising a powerful groom. “Sory Bamba” is another praise song which extols the virtues of its famous band leader. Stuck in the past but looking towards the future with its incredible mix of traditional and modern instruments, Kanaga instantly reaches the higher level of African music classicism. Finally, this timeless classic is available again including fully-restored artwork and audio. Also includes in-depth liner notes about Mali and L'Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti. ….by Forced Explosure….. 

The first regional orchestra of the Mopti region of Mali was the Bani Jazz, named after the river that joins the Niger near Mopti. Founded after the coup d'état of 1968, Ali 'Farka’ Touré was the first chef d'orchestre. He was also the first to exploit the enormous variety of traditional music from the Mopti region in a modern orchestra, with tracks like “Manden Po”. 

According to Ali (in an interview in 1989) things turned sour after two years, due to his relationship with Sory Bamba. When he discovered he lacked the support of the regional authorities, Ali left the orchestra. And the orchestra was taken over by Sory Bamba and renamed Orchestre Kanaga de Mopti. 

The lp Kanaga recorded in 1977 for the Mali Kunkan label is certainly one of their best. It is also, unfortunately, one of the few in which the orchestra is credited and which is not -like the albums released on the Songhoy and Sonafric label- presented as a solo project by self-acclaimed superstar Sory Bamba. 

I am somewhat cautious in labelling it The Best, because I suspect there may be more by Kanaga which at least I haven’t (fully) discovered. After discovering some fragments of tracks on a cassette I bought in Bamako, I have been looking for more; but so far I have only found more of the same… 
I am sure you will understand my frustration about this when you hear the two and a half minute fragment I have added as a bonus. 

I have several versions of this lp and can’t make up my mind which one to post. So here are two versions for you to download: the first is from a cassette I bought in 2000 and is at least almost complete (there is a bit missing in the track “Kanaga”) and of a consistent quality. ……. 

Tracklist 
Gambari 8:30 
Sory Bamba 6:18 
Kulukutu 9:00 
Kanaga 8:00 
N'do N'do 8:28 
Sare Mabo 6:34 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..