-the raw sound of Burkina Faso- (BF,1974-1979,re.2011)****
Burkina Faso was first called Upper Volta between 1919 and 1984 with independence, a republic after French occupation since 1958. The Middle class invested in music, which made a birthplace with a certain variety in styles. On this album you can hear the range that made up the inspirations. Most of the tracks have a kind of relaxed hypnotic groove. Partly this is inspired by afro-funk and it has elements of it on guitar and with brass arrangements, bass and organ, but it sounds much more relaxed and more afro-styled with a lead singer telling a story, or getting away with the smooth groove, or finding a few call-and responses, now and then with backing vocalists, females or a group of harmony singers. The rhythms have some repetition, percussion and drums have a certain polyrhythmic complexity without breaking through the relaxed general groove. A few tracks have more clear Cuban influences, especially the kind of Caribbean guitar repetitions including a summer feeling in some tracks. The organ always provides some melodic or improvised accents based upon the rhythm grooves, and here and there a bit more guitar but not too much.
The first new bands were L'Harmonie Voltaique and Super Volta (both featured in this compilation), based in the capital Ouagadougou, after which other bands, who were attracted to this success, were brought to the capital like Echo del Africa National and Volta Jazz, and after which followed to the birth of two labels in 1974 called Volta Discobel and Club Voltaique du Disque (or CVD) who promoted the best artists from the period, especially Amadou Ballaké who’s featured a lot on this compilation. There has been a few more compilation from this area, the label had a bit more time to be prepared for this compilation, again this comes with extensive liner notes and photographs.