Here is a new release from Sahelsounds, the project by Christopher Kirkley that not only explores the musical richness from the Sahel region but also releases selected pieces so that we only can take part in this exploration. The newest release focuses on the music of so-called Balani shows, frequent street partys in Mali, in which youth take center stage displaying their dance performances to fast paced energetic music. The compilation, available via bandcamp, includes some of the most popular Balani tunes from the past decade.
In the Sahelsounds blog Kirkley wrote a post about these Malian musical get-togethers:
“A Balani Show is a public street party organized for a myriad of reasons: a birthday, a wedding, a baptism. The mobility means that it often happens right in front of the house. DJs install massive speakers and hundreds of chairs to encircle the “show.” Music begins in the early evening as the block fills up with hordes of seemingly parent-less children wandering about. After a pause for evening prayer, the real Balani Show begins – the little ones pushed aside to make way for the adolescents and teenagers. Dressed in loud combinations of neon hats, dark sunglasses, and colorful sneakers, they come for the spectacle and participation: dance battles, performances, comedians, party games, fashion contests, and some acrobatic, limb twisting, hyper stylized choreography. …” more on the Sahelsounds blog