Artist: Elikeh Title: Kondona Label: Ropeadope Records Genre: Afropop
New Life in an Old Ceremony: Elikeh Experiences Its Kondona
Music can change everything. As the poet wrote, it has charms to soothe the savage breast. And it can also bring a band back from the dead, giving it a new spark of energy and creativity. For Washington, DC-based Afropop bandElikeh, the results of that musical resurrection are proudly displayed on the EPKondona(released November 20, 2015).
Mali’s pre-eminent singer/songwriter/bandleader came to New York this fall with an unusual act. In the past, he has brought blazing electric ensembles from Paris or New York, and, in recent years, a superb, mostly Malian band featuring acoustic African instruments. This time, the group was smaller still, even more acoustic, and they performed seated, like court musicians entertaining royalty. The music was transcendent, mixing Keita hits like “Tekere” and “Mandjou” with Mande traditional songs like “Sunjata,” the praise song for Salif’s 13thcentury ancestor, Sunjata Keita.
Artists reach areas far beyond the reach of politicians. Art, especially entertainment and music, is understood by everybody, and it lifts the spirits and the morale of those who hear it. (Nelson Mandela)
Afropop’s Sean and Banning have returned from Egypt with a plethora of music, video and sounds. This week they are taking a breather after an intense, month-long trip before delving into the 4-part radio & web series they will be producing on the music of Egypt. Stay tuned by reading Banning’s latest entry on Koranic Recitation. You can also check out their video of a Sufi saint celebration (watch below) in Upper Egypt. Very cool video! Recommended to Sublime Frequencies fans!