AUSTRALIA has a new West African band capable of holding its own on the world stage. Formed in early 2009 following the release of Sibo Bangoura’s CD of the same name, Sydney-based Keyim Ba is led by the charismatic kora and percussion-playing singer and his brother Mohamed, a master percussionist, on a new album that includes, alongside band compositions, several songs written by their Paris-based sibling Epizo, who helped launch the second wave of Afro-Australian acts in the 1990s.
From a Guinean griot (traditional minstrel) family, the Bangoura brothers are the real deal. So is their lead guitarist, Malian Moussa Diakite, who once worked for the legendary Super Rail Band and performed with Salif Keita. Senegal-born percussionist Yacou Mbaye’s expertise on the talking drum and doun doun (bass drum) is a salient feature on several tracks. Afro Mandinko’s Lamine Sonko adds an arresting guest rap to the title track.
While the emphasis is on up-tempo, high energy rhythms, there’s variety on Mami Wata, including a palm wine song to which jazzy piano is a welcome add-on; a soukous-style dance number; a funky reggae work with spoken vocals; a lilting healing song and a percussion jam jammed with exciting cross-rhythms. The set’s standout track, Bawama, starts slowly but morphs into a compelling afrobeat dance groove. Another trad piece, Fore, features talking drum in tandem with cowbell and balafon.
This Sydney All-Star band of West African musicians - leader Sibo Bangoura, his brother Mohamed, both from a Guinean griot family, Senegalese percussionist Yacou Mbaye and Salif Keita Band alumni guitarist Moussa Diakite are back with a varied and vibrant second album.
Simon Olsen, Blair Greenberg and Julian Bel-Bachir play bass, guitar and drums and Rachel Bangoura and Miriam Lieberman sing backing vocals and the group ranges from traditional, all-percussion pieces through to funk and African rap songs. We'll also hear from Elissa Goodrich's new album, a partially-improvised interpretation of JS Bach's Cello Suite No. 3, for her solo marimba and her marimba in duo with other instruments.
Just returned from their National Tour, KEYIM BA are back and ready to release their much awaited for new album – ‘Mami Wata’ – an exciting new cd, bringing the influences of reggae, funk and rap to West African grooves. Heralded as “an Afro-Australian treasure”, this brilliant 9 piece band has a rhythm section born in West Africa. Led by the ever charismatic, Sibo Bangoura from Guinea, the group has enormous energy, giving tradition a modern twist that never fails to fill the dancefloor. "....an exuberant, celebratory outfit that literally party their way through the many colours and flavours of Bangoura's West African background..." - Cristina Dio, Diaspora Worldbeat 'Mami Wata', recorded at The Grove and Rifton Records, is expected to take Australian world music lovers by storm. A clever mix of traditional sounds with an urban groove, very much Keyim Ba's signature sound. Joined by a collection of stellar guest musicians on the recording include Lamine Sonko (One Africa), Jason Heerah (Electric Empire), Nick Garbett, Matthew Ottignon, Ben Kidson, Byron Mark and Danny G. Felix. Djembe powerhouses brothers Mohamed & Sibo Bangoura, are joined by Yacou Mbaye from Senegal on Doun Doun ,Talking Drum, Sabar & Congas; Moussa Diakete from Mali, the former guitarist to Salif Keita on lead guitar and Simon Olsen, (Malian roots)of Electric Empireon bass. Joined also by Sydney musician Blair Greenberg on guitar, Julian Bel-Bachir on percussion and the captivating vocals of Sydney-based singer/song writer, Miriam Lieberman with Rachel Bangoura on the dancefloor.