Senegalese Treasure Trove

Various Artists - Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70's
Various Artists – Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s
Various Artists

Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s (Analog Africa AACD 079, 2015)

Analagog Africa has been releasing some of the best compilations of African music from the 1960s and 1970s, providing the background to the sensational acts that became huge in the world music scene in the 1980s.

On this occasion, Analog Africa partnered with Teranga Beat to put together a collection of music from 1960s and 1970s Senegal. These were some of the hottest acts playing a wide range of styles, including funk, mbalax, Cuban son, fabulous African and Latin percussion, jazzy electric organ and the captivating Manding-style of guitar that became the signature sound for many West African bands.

Many of the songs are previously unreleased tracks located by Teranga Beat’s founder Adamantios Kafetzis. He traveled from Greece to Senegal to digitize the musical jewels he had discovered in the Senegalese city of Thiès. This was a large set of reel tapes recorded by sound engineer Moussa Diallo, who had spent the previous four decades recording bands that performed in his legendary Sangomar club.

Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb and Kafetzis selected several tracks from the Sangomar sessions along with popular songs from the era by Senegal’s finest bands, including Fangool, Orchestre G.M.I – Groupement Mobil D’Intervention, Orchestre Bawobab, Le Sourouba de Louga, King N’gom et Les Perles Noires, Orchestre Laye Thiam, Amara Touré et le Star Band de Dakar, Le Tropical Jazz, and Gestü de Dakar.

The new fusions developed by the Senegalese bands featured here go beyond the well-known mixes of Senegalese beats with funk, Afro-Cuban music, rock and jazz. Orchestre Bawobab takes “Achilipú”, a famous 1971 Gypsy rumba hit by Spanish Flamenco singer Dolores Vargas and turns into a mix of Senegalese music and Cuban son, with vocals in Spanish. And this is not the only song using Spanish-language lyrics. Although Senegalese acts used Wolof as the primary language, many acts were deeply influenced by Cuban music and used Spanish in some of their songs.

Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s is available on CD, digital form and vinyl.

Senegal 70 is a treasure trove containing a superb selection of modern Senegalese roots music from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Buy Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s in North America

Buy Senegal 70: Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s in Europe

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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