By the time Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013’s Kaani, the band’s first release outside of Niger, they had spent more than a decade crisscrossing Niger, usually on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week, selling their CDs on street corners. In the process, they became Niger’s most popular band. Audiences in the West and critics quickly embraced the band’s singular and well-honed sound.
Their second album Zoy Zoy is a distillation of Tal National’s traditional roots and tireless drive into pure joy and celebration. The songs are intense yet sophisticated, combining original numbers with new arrangements of West African folk songs. The band speaks French, but use the American term “very rock and roll” quite seriously, implying their awareness that the loud guitars and bewildering rhythmic complexity separate them from their West African peers.
Niger has no proper recording studios, music instrument shops, or record stores and the drummer makes his own sticks. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Tal National thrives in a country parched of resources but teeming with music and rhythm.
Brooklyn Afro-Funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by Afrobeat legend Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The composer, singer, guitarist, percussionist and producer from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Kaleta performed and toured the world with the two most popular musicians from Nigeria, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, along with Majek Fashek and recently Lauryn Hill.
Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country in the 70s and 80s. Super Yamba takes it's cues from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, El Rego and Gnonnas Pedro, all legends in their own right for pioneering the classic styles of Afro-Funk in Benin. Touching on rare grooves such as "Vodoun" or "Sato," Super Yamba Band have dialed in the nuances of a timeless sound that will move everyone in the room to dance.