Thursday, July 14, 2011

L’Orchestre Nationale de Mauritanie- La Mone / Kamlat (Mauritania, 1973 , Mississippi Records / Sahel Sounds, 2011)

"...L’Orchestre Nationale was the first modern Mauritanian musical troupe. In 1967, the young president Moktar Ould Daddah sent Hadrami along with 14 other musicians to Guinea Conakry for musical training in what would be the first experiment in modernization — incorporating a brass section and electric guitars — but retaining the Hoddu and finding a particularly important place for the Mauritanian flute, the Neyfara, featured prominently on a number of tracks. Returning to Nouakchott, a town of no more 20,000 in the pre-drought Mauritania, the L’Orchestre National was the official band of the new country, playing in official capacity for the president in all social events, and providing a soundtrack of post-colonial aspirations..."

...Read the whole story at Sahel Sounds.....

This is my slightly de-clicked 320 rip of this outstanding recent 7" reissue from Mississippi Records and Sahel Sounds. A hypnotising find by Christopher Kirkley. And..pssst...the best way for an out-of-towner to buy mailorder from Mississippi Records is from Little Axe.

L’Orchestre Nationale de Mauritanie- La Mone / Kamlat (Mauritania, 1973 , Mississippi / Sahel Sounds, 2011)


øשlqæda said...

i just woke up & owlready you makin me work :) may as well peep this whilst i sip the mornin coffee. thx + praise as ever

Holly said...

Nick, this is AWESOME! Any suggestions for further exploration?

Anonymous said...

Griot music is basically, a man sitting holding a guitar (electric, or not), and/or accompanied by a kora ('ball' gourd stringed instrument famous in Western Sahara), beginning to tell a story. Griot itself is a word that means 'Readers', of such stories and tales, and another artists called Jalis (meaningly, 'Sitter'), would also tell these alongside the griot.
Blues music in its wholesome is based on these stories. Blues itself got its name from farmhands working the fields centuries ago, looking at their reddened hands injured by the cotton (a rather prickly crop, really), and aspiring to the 'blues' or Heaven above to ease their pain. It's all about the colours, anyway.
Mauritania was the hub and harbour for those early slavemeisters; shipping them from the farthest point of the Sahel (or, 'coast'), to their final destination in America. Few know these as basic facts, and that's why I'm taking the trouble to share. This isn't any sharity. Mind.
As for similar artists to L'Orchestre Nationale de Mauritanie... Look no further than The Zouérate Orchestre, also known as The Tiris Zemmour Band. Zemmour is like 'Song', and these orchestres were called song-orchestras, much like G.S. bands of mid-60s Japan, and share the rawness and power detected in early garage-y bands. Very good sounds, in all honesty.
Here's a good in-site from Funjoy.


Anonymous said...

Alas, diddly-brass-farthing-squat-pebble does the Tinterweb offer any 'real' definition to the origin of the word 'griot'. Ugh. The webshite here offers a roster of 'colonialinguisms', too. Read as forth: "The term may come from the Afro-Portuguese word criado, meaning "servant." Wrong, as the word criot/griot is originally rooted in Arabo-Indian archeolinguistics and it means a 'boor'; 'yokel', 'someone who comes from the country', 'felah', 'subclass'... etc.
Griot has its roots in both Amazigh-Arabic, and Arab-Hebrew languages, and means literally 'The readers', meanwhile criado gave birth to such words such as 'crude'.
In Arabic - to be precise - griot is written as "جريوت", thick tongue of Western Sahara, "جاروت", or "قاروت"/"قاروط", which is still used as arcane slanguage in some parts of the middle-east to denounce a person's background as of that of a low, fatherless descent.
So, basically the griots (plural), were an outcast subclass as most poets in the world are, sharing the pain of the world and taking it within, having seen many themselves.
Such are the roots of that word, and also the roots of blues music popularized by Amfricans at the early turn of the 20th century.



nicholab said...

@anonymous (x2) your insight & opinions as to the broad cultural-linguistic origins of the griot are invaluable and poetic. many thanks for picking this place for waxing philosophical on the topic. quite enlightening.

Vik Sohonie said...

This is one of the most gorgeous things I've heard from the Sahel. Mauritania doing it big! Afro-Arab madness! Might seem like a silly question, but where can I buy this from? I've searched the sites listed and googled'd but am unable to find the 7" copy... is it still available? I imagine not..