Personnel includes: Issa Bagayogo (vocals, kamele n' goni); Moussa Kone (acoustic guitar, yabara); Yves Wernert (bass, programming); Alhassane Sissoko (djembe); Tata Diakite, Mamou Sidibe (background vocals).
Recorded at Bologan Studio, Bamako, Mali.
Personnel: Issa Bagayogo (vocals, chant); Moussa Kone (acoustic guitar); Yves Wernert (programming); Tata Diakite, Mamou Sidib‚ (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Yves Wernert.
Recording information: Bogolan Bamako; Studio Bogolan, Bamako, Mali.
Photographer: Philippe Conrath.
Translator: Dan Warburton.
Unknown Contributor Role: Moussa Kone.
Arranger: Yves Wernert.
Bagayogo's 1999 debut (finally released in the U.S.) was a major breakthrough of sorts -- an African album that seamlessly mixed acoustic and electronic textures and was recorded in Mali with African musicians (although, to be fair, a Frenchman was responsible for the programming). As such, it has the rootedness other experiments in this field haven't been able to match, all centered around the hypnotic singing and kamele n'goni playing of Bagayogo himself. The only problem is that the tempos and rhythms remain similar, so while the opening title cut has a refreshing jog to it and some incredibly inventive rhythms, the tracks have developed a tendency to blur into each other by the time the closer, "Madomba," rolls around. But these are the first steps in a new direction (and there would be much more diversity on the follow-up), and not everything is going to work. There's a sense of discovery, and no mistaking the fact that Bagayogo has what it takes to become a major talent once he finds his focus. ~ Chris Nickson