Damon Albarn, Brian Eno & Nick Zinner Feature In 'Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes' LP

Africa Express presents their debut full length 'Maison Des Jeunes,' which was recorded in a one week span in Bamako in October.

Africa Express returned last week for more cross-continental collaboration, this time with a week of recording in Bamako. International creatives the likes of project founder Damon Albarn, Olugbenga, Brian Eno, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Holy Other, and Ghostpoet joined forces with a renaissance generation in Mali's music industry— a lineup of Malian artists that included Adama Koita, Bijou, Doucoura, Gambari, Kankou Kouyaté, Lobi Traoré Band, Moussa Traoré, Songhoy Blues, Talbi, Tiemoko Sogodogo and the Yacuba Sissoko Band. Over the course of seven days the project forged a temporary studio in a Bamako youth club. The fruit of their week-long (or rather, just one week-long) recording efforts comes in the form of an 11-track debut LP named after their Maison Des Jeunes studio home. For the first taste Timbuktu indie band Songhoy Blues linked up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner for a Bombinofied showcase of always mesmerizing desert blues. Watch the video for "Soubour" below and check out the full track-list for Maison Des Jeunes, which drops on digital release December 9th via Transgressive Records.

Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes

1- Adama Koita – ‘Fantainfalla Toyi Bolo’ (Produced by Two Inch Punch)

2- Songhoy Blues – ‘Soubour’ (Produced by Nick Zinner & Remi Kabaka)

3- Ghostpoet feat. Doucoura – ‘Season Change’ (Produced by Two Inch Punch & Damon Albarn)

4- Bijou – ‘Dougoudé Sarrafo’ (Produced by Damon Albarn)

5- Lil Silva – ‘Bouramsy’ (Produced by Lil Silva)

6- Talbi – ‘Rapou Kanou’ (Produced by Two Inch Punch)

7- Gambari feat. Kankou Kouyaté – ‘Yamore’ (Produced by Damon Albarn)

8- Yacouba Sissoko Band – ‘Chanson Denko Tapestry’ (Produced by Brian Eno)

9- Lobi Traoré Band – ‘Deni Kelen Be Koko’ (Produced by David Maclean)

10- Moussa Traoré – ‘Farafina’ (Produced by Damon Albarn)

11- Tiemoko Sogodogo – ‘Latégué’ (Produced by Brian Eno)


7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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