it takes two – waande kadde & top wzn

Starting off this new year with two new releases: Waande Kadde, dreamy acoustic Pulaar music from the villages of Fouta Toro, and Top WZN, synth, drum machines, and electric tidnit from the capital city of Mauritania. While they are immediately sonically different, they bear more similarities than one may suspect.…

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On the last visit, in the fall, we spent a few days in Podor, a small colonial town that sits in the interior of Senegal on the banks of the river. It had been about two years and everyone was a bit older. A few people had passed, and a…

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da art of storytellin

The hodou, the traditional Pulaar guitar, is often used to tell a story. And perhaps one of the best known modern storytellers in Mauritania was musician Saïdou Ba: Saïdou Ba - Sayglare "Born in 1939 in Daou (in the commune of Maghama) to a circle of artists attached to the…

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Moonlight in the Gold Port

Lewlewal de Podor - Jamfa I met the group Lewlewal in 2009 (previously). I had been in Nouakchott for four months and needed a break. Driving on the road to Fouta Toro, the Northern region of Senegal, the temperature increased exponentially. It was April, and once the cool comfort of…

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Amadou Binta Konté - Simba, ma jata limi Amadou Binta Konté has played the five stringed Hoddu for over 40 years. He's not a musician, but a cuuballo, one of the fishermen living alongside the Senegal river as it cuts between Senegal and Mauritania. He sometimes plays in local ceremonies,…

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Souleyman Marr - Pekane In the fluvial region of Northern Senegal, Fouta Toro retains some of the remnants of the highly stratified society it once was. Cuballo are the fisherman caste. They're not low of the hierarchical strata, somewhere below the "nobles", but well above the blacksmiths and griots. As…

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