Takamba music from Gao, sub Sahara, Mali



Wire magazine – review

Wire magazine - review

Digital re-release of our cassette Session pour Yehia le Marabout

_Session pour Yehia Le Marabout was recorded in ’94. It was an assignment done by Yehia, a famous marabout based in Gao who gave Super 11 several assignments. His last name we do not know alas and he died recently. The takes have no names. They are nothing but grand improvisations done for the marabout. What is so nice about this session that the accompagnment isn’t done only by calabash, but also with an iron pot. It gives the Takamba an extra metal buzz which ads perfectly to the sound of the vocalists exclamations. And when the tune evolves, the iron comes in and makes the takamba haunting more and more._The main n’goni player on this tape is Super 11’s main man Yehia Mballa Samake. He is accompagnied by Le Petit Griot, another grand ngoni player who was part of Super 11. He died last year, shortly after the power siege of the narco terrorists in Gao. The calabash is played Mohamed Kara, also member of Super 11, and resident in Gao. We at Two Speakers met him once in 2008 when we visited Gao. The vocals are by Douma Maiga. He was a former member of Super 11 and died alas._Nice to mention about the physical source tape, it was bought by the late Ali Farka Touré and his wife, Henriette Kuypers Touré. When on visit in Bamako and having some spare time they would venture to the home cassette factory of Samba Afro Cissé, a famous tape vendor who’s family operated several cassetteshops in Bamako and Mopti. He was the man to visit when in need of good source tapes in those days in Mali. We owe Henriette Toure Kuypers a lot for making a copy of this very tape.


releases 20 May 2013
Label: Two Speakers
Catalog: TWO 005


Super Onze, our first CD album released worldwide


Chez nous a Gao

A brilliant recording by the ORTM Mali.

Une superbe prise par le Mali l’ORTM.



Yehia Mballa Samaké (Super 11) | Improvisation


Here’s your chance to watch some exclusive solo footage recorded of Yehia Mballa Samaké. He is the main n’goni player of Super 11, the undisputed masters of Takamba music. The look of him apparently doesn’t tell but he’s the main virtuoso on this predecessor of all guitars. When he plays, he’s watched by all Malian string instrument crackheads, wether they are Soray, Bambara or Tamashek. It simply doesn’t matter. The movie is recorded in Gao, Northern mali. because of the troubles caused by socalled religious people and the Algerian government he had to flee his own with his family to Bamako.

You can support his work and that of his band Super 11 by purchasing their exclusive digital Takamba album for € 8,- on www.super11.bandcamp.com.

If Justin Adams, guitar player of Robert Plant’s band, is to be believed, like him, you might just find it “devastating” and unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

Voici votre chance de regarder quelques images en solo exclusif enregistré de Yehia Mballa Samaké. Il est le principal acteur n’goni de Super 11, les maîtres incontestés de la musique Takamba. Le look de lui ne semble pas dire, mais il est le virtuose principale sur ce prédécesseur de toutes les guitares. Quand il joue, il est regardé par tous les magiciens instruments à cordes malien, selon qu’ils sont Soray, bambara ou tamasheq. Il n’a tout simplement pas d’importance. Le film est enregistré à Gao, le nord du Mali. en raison des troubles causés par soi-disant religieux et le gouvernement algérien, il a dû fuir son propre avec sa famille à Bamako.

Vous pouvez soutenir son travail et celui de son groupe 11 Super en achetant leur album digital exclusif Takamba pour € 8,- à www.super11.bandcamp.com.

Si Justin Adams, guitariste de la bande de Robert Plant, l’on en croit, comme lui, vous pourriez trouver ce brisante et, contrairement à tout ce que vous avez jamais entendu parler.


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