Audio

Supreme Talent Show's Bamako Sound System Block Party Music

Supreme Talent Show blend pounding electronic beats with traditional Malian rhythms in their Balani Show-influenced 'Danbe' LP.


Supreme Talent Show is a Malian duo formed by Mèlékè Thiathio and MC Waraba that combines influences from Bamako's Balani Shows, or sound system block parties, into their own highly-energetic blend. As Sahel Sounds has explored in-depth, Balani Shows originated out of late 90s Bamako street celebrations in which DJs began opting for large sound systems and cassettes in favor of traditional Balafon musicians. Those parties birthed the 'Balani Show' or 'Ambience' style, an urban genre fusing pounding electronic beats with traditional Balafon rhythms, as well as strains of coupé décalé, kuduro and hip-hop.

Supreme Talent Show's first official release, the Danbe LP, is a contemporary progression of that Balani Show sound, delivering 14 tracks that mix "cut up samples of traditional Baliphones, frenetic djembes, ... rapid fire talking drums" and Bambara rapping into hypnotizing Malian dance productions. Danbe is available now in digital format and limited edition cassette through Sahel Sounds' bandcamp. For more, revisit last year's Balani Show Super Hits compilation. Stream Supreme Talent Show's album in its entirety below.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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