I just heard that the Baaahhh cast has posted their first video on YouTube. Have a look!


Thanks so much Dara for posting the very first song – ( Much Kudos to You 🙂 ( from Ali Farka Toure) and what a great blues song ( from the movie ‘Unfaithful’ ).

I didn’t know it before – this just shows all the music I can discover with your help (and I hope you find some of my song choices interesting) so please send me your music if you have a sec – no specs – anything goes – any style – any language – any artist (as you know I love music from Africa so if you can teach me more about musical styles on the African continent -I’d be grateful as well ). Of course it’s even better if it is your own song/lyrics – any musicians in the audience ? 🙂

You might be wondering why I came up with the music project thing.

Well I am used to starting projects – it’s just a good thing to do. Then this is also a way to explain more about all the things we do in the OpenCafe – how “open projects” start and are run and this might encourage you to start your own projects. Then … the music is actually an excuse – to just have fun, discuss things, and get closer to figuring out the meaning of life ….. or hm …. may be it’s not even important to explain at all – but these are some things I have come up with 🙂

Here is the first song suggestion from the new “Send a song page” sent by Dara, hope you like it:

‘Ai du’ by Ali Farka Toure

Click here to see all the films you find Ali Farka Toure songs in.

While I was listening – this is the video that came to mind:

Tracy Chapman & BB King The Thrill Has Gone

A video from Manu Dibango – from Idamawatu on YouTube.

Soul Makossa

Ali Farka Toure is one of the great musicians on the continent – the first to become wellknown for his blues-like guitar style.

Ali Farka Toure & Boubacar ‘Kar Kar’ Toure playing ‘ Duna Ma Yelema’

His son Vieux (I wonder why he was given this name) carried on with his father’s tradition and developed his own version of the Malian blues.

He is one of the very few wellknown musicians that agreed to take part in a remix contest on CCMixter – some others include the artists of the Wired CD project – it’d be great if most artists would take part in such contests and give one some of their music for remixing an sharing amongst fans and other musicians.


Guitar solo

I discovered this band on whenI was browsing around the videos section. This animation is amazing – have a look – hope you like it. I don’t have the lyrics in English – please send me a mail if you know of an English version.

Like cartwheels, roads, streets, neighborhoods, suburbs, factories, magic, everyday things, yesterday, today and flamenco, but porous flamenco, of that musically polyglot kind that refuses to deny influences… Ojos de Brujo smells and tastes like all of that. The group, as much from Barcelona as it is universal, opts to let itself go with the flow as a comprehensive philosophy in creative processes which flow in the opposite direction to what is usual: from live shows, the band’s usual medium, to records. With no room for mercenaries, this caravan of flamenquillos renews here and there new characters made of modeling clay which extend the diversity of the nuances of its music, activating and reactivating the curiosity and restlessness for other points of view. Ojos de Brujo, which seeks help in the natural and the supernatural so that the group may take better directions, challenges orthodoxy with a conciliatory mood, native ease and respect. (from here)

(Ojos de Brujo site)

Ojos de Brujo – Tiempo de soleá 

Yela is the music of women, as it mimics the sound they made when pounding grain. When performing the Yela, some women would hit the stressed third beat on their calabashes, while others carried the weaker first beat by clapping their hands. It is the Yela Jimmy Cliff heard when he visited Dakar; and it is reputed to be the primary influence for the development of reggae in the Caribbean. (from here)

Today we have been listening to Baaba Maal songs so I decided to add Yela to the list of Senegalese videos on this blog – if interested – you can find more info on Baaba Maal here and videos from Ismael Lo and Daby Toure here.

To explain a bit about yela music here is part of an interview with Baaba Maal on (You can read the complete interview here.)

Q: What is the Yela rhythm?

All kinds of music comes from the big empires like of the empire of Ghana, it was before the empire of Mali. At the beginning the people were using calabashes to make the rhythm. Women were singing the songs and sometimes men brought the music from them and told about the history of the village or the history of the society. Little by little we put in the African traditional guitar and after that we put the western guitar. In the 1960s years we put the western guitar and the music changed from its original way to something that was more popular, that everyone can use.

Q: Is there a connection between Yela and Reggae?

Yeah, they look close to the same because the way the Reggae music is arranged, the traditional African music that we call Yela is like that. The construction of the music itself looks close to the same. When you put a Reggae song in the villages, the women who used to dance the Yela, they still dance it like Yela because they feel that it is the same.

Baaba Maal – Yela

When I arrived in South Africa in 1997 – I started my new African adventures with brewing African beer in a factory next to Hammanskraal (North of Pretoria).

The beer we were selling was named Bafana Bafana – name of the South African national football team. Those were interesting times – tipsy times I’d say – since the factory workers for some reason were mostly in a happyyy mood – they were dancing around all day – I wonder why 🙂

This song is by Yvonne Chaka Chaka – one of the greatest singers in SA.

When asked who she admired most, Chaka Chaka said “My mother because she has always been there for me. My mother raised three daughters single-handedly on a domestic workers salary. That took great courage and strength. She is my mentor and hero. When I was born in 1965 in Soweto, it was during apartheid, and those were extremely difficult times. My dad was a great musician who could never realize his dream. He died when I was 11 years old. I inherited my talent from both parents, so music has always been in my blood .When I was little I would strum an empty tin and blow into a broom stick pretending it was a microphone. I sang in church choirs. I loved singing. I am blessed that I achieved my destiny, and been able to accomplish what my father could not.” (Wikipedia)

Yvonne Chaka Chaka : Umqombothi

We MaDlamini
Uph’umqombothi (3x)

I work hard every day
To make my beer
Wake up early every morning
To please my people with African beer
I make sure the fire burns
To make my beer
My special beer Umqombothi
Is African beer

We MaDlamini (Everybody)
Uph’umqombothi (Come and drink my)
We MaDlamini (magic beer)

I work hard to make them happy
Every weekend (Umqombothi)
Makes them party to the rhythm
Makes them dance, this magic beer (Umqobothi)
I wanna make you happy (Umqobothi)
I wanna make you smile (Umqobothi)
I wanna make you dance (Umqobothi), dance
I’ll make sure there’s a party
Where they drink my special beer
Umqombothi is magic beer
Umqombothi is African beer

Chorus 3x
We MaDlamini (Everybody)
Uph’umqombothi (nawu)
We MaDlamini Uph’umqombothi (nawu madoda)

Wozani ka MaDlamini
Wozani ngithi wozani
Wozani ka MaDlamini
Come on I wanna make you happy
I wanna make you smile lets boogie together
Umqombothi (Umqombothi)

I work hard every day
To please my people with African beer
( lyrics from )

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