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Ba Power

GB 023CD GB 023CD

Ba Power, Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba's fourth album (and their first for Glitterbeat Records) is a striking, career-defining record marked by mesmerizing songs, razor-sharp riffs, and full-throttle emotions. Following two years of worldwide touring for the much-heralded Jama Ko (OH 021CD/LP), Bassekou's band, Ngoni Ba, has turned up the volume and dynamics significantly and Bassekou's masterful ngoni playing has achieved a new level of intensity that can only be called: Afro-rock. Distortion and wah-wah and propulsive rhythms now form the defining backbone of his songs and the white-hot vocals of his wife, Amy Sacko, serve more than ever as his passionate and perfect foil. When asked what Ba Power means to him, Bassekou replied, "'Ba,' in Bambara, means 'strong' or 'great' and it also means 'group.' I called the album Ba Power because I think the messages on it are very important and strong, and it is also definitely the album with the toughest sound I've ever made. I want these songs to grab as many people as possible." Ba Power was recorded in November of 2014 at MBK Studios in Bamako, a studio just down the road from the Kouyaté family home in the hills at the edge of the city. Produced by Chris Eckman (Tamikrest, Aziza Brahim), the album began with Ngoni Ba playing together live in a relaxed, intimate space. Features appearances from legendary Songhai blues guitarist Samba Touré on "Fama Magni," soku master Zoumana Tereta on "Fama Magni," vocalist Adama Yalomba "Waati," massively influential composer and trumpeter Jon Hassell on "Ayé Sira Bla," guitarist Chris Brokaw (The Lemonheads) on "Siran Fen" and "Abé Sumaya," and drummer Dave Smith (JuJu, Fofoulah, The Sensational Space Shifters with Robert Plant) on four songs including opener "Siran Fen." Ba Power contains all the swagger, precision, and wide-eyed excitement that the title implies. It is the album on which Bassekou's music engages with the world in unprecedented ways, and the album with which he confirms his status among the 21st century's most relevant musical artists. "I think African music and culture deserve to be spread to the broadest audience possible. That is what I want to accomplish with Ba Power" --Bassekou Kouyaté. Bassekou Kouyaté: lead ngoni; Abou Sissoko: medium ngoni; Mamadou Kouyaté: bass ngoni and backing vocals; Moctar Kouyaté: calebash; Mahamadou Tounkara: yabara, tamani, tamaba; Bina Diabaté: medium ngoni ba; Amy Sacko: lead vocal and backing vocals.