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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Trans-Atlantic Merende Style


It seems a good time to finally post on a connection that I had made, which may be superficial, but remains an exciting discovery for me to make.

The past couple Sierra Leone parties/events that I've been to, I noticed a fast, double-timed drum music, programmed on synthesizers, that for some reason I've been associating with the Mende, but I can't quite remember why.  Always wanting to represent for my own people, and add an African perspective to the electronic global conversation, I've been trying to chase down recordings of this music but haven't been able to find the ones I've hear at the parties. Next time I'm home, I'm going to track it down. Here's a video of a Salone party where they play it at 1:00 minute.

Sierra Leone/Gambia Party


Anyway, back SF Carnaval weekend, I was djing with DJ Rajah at Bollyhood Cafe in SF, and I came out of the bathroom and he was playing a music that sounded just like that Mende music. I ran up to Rajah and asked where he got that! He told me it was from the Dominican Republic, and later he emailed me some tracks. I guess it was GaGa that he was playing?

Well take a listen for yourself. Are you hearing any similarities?

Here's a Dadday Saj video of Mende music:


Here's a parade during Semana Santa(?) in Boca Chica:


A track from Sierra Leone:

Refugee Allstars-Pat Malonthone

And a Merengue (or Mambo?) track from Republica Dominicana:

Banda Gorda-No Se Acaba el Mambo

I've been hearing similarities in other musics like Mbalax as well. Expect a mix soon! Plus, if any Sierra Leoneans come across this post and know where to get this music let me know!

2 comments:

Lamin Fofana said...

Great post! I can (superficially) hear the similarities. I need to listen more closely, play them for for other people. Minday man wan take everything for himself!

Thanks for the Daddy Saj. Appreciate the Mende rap in there. Hearing a lot of Temne rap these days.

Anonymous said...

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