Thiapa Thioly by Etoile de Dakar

October 8, 2009

333Hung out last night with Matt from the rockin-though-currently-on-hiatus Benn Loxo in a little café on the canal here in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, talking shop amid an unexpected torrential downpour of near-epic proportions. Matt’s blog introduced me to a lot of the funkier and in some cases more esoteric African music that to this day I count among my most cherished albums. His slow descent into blog-slumber is essentially what stirred me into action in the first place in July, though I’m not even remotely attempting to fill his shoes as it would be way too hard! I hope he revives his blog at some point because it is truly one of the best around.
In any case, we exchanged views on lots of music, and may, if lucky, be going to check out the Malian ngoni master, Bassekou Kouyaté, tonight. After touching on the topic of old school Senegalese music (Matt lived in Dakar for a few years), I was reminded of some of the cool stuff I picked up on 116th St in Harlem where many of the NY-based African music shops can be found.
Some of the cds you can buy are merely CD-Rs converted from vinyl or cassette, and so can be obtained for as little as $5. Today’s post is a slice of the Senegalese national popular dance music mbalax, which according to Matt can be seen here in Paris up in Clignancourt on occasional Sunday nights in the wee hours. Can’t wait to see the ventilateur and other sexy dance moves in action! This song is off of an Etoile de Dakar album, which of course features its famous founder,Youssou N’Dour. I posted the 12 minute title track Thiapa Thioly for its interesting rhythmic changes, impassioned harmonies, and most excellent grooves. Though it can be found on Amazon for inflated sums, it appears that on iTunes it can be had for cheap.

Thiapa Thioly by Etoile de Dakar


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