Remastered in the original mono, this album is the soundtrack to a time when Cuban music was the future for 1970s Senegal and commemorates the anniversary when another way — the Cuban way — was possible.
Psicodelia Afro-Cubana de Senegal from Star Band de Dakar it´s a superb compilation af Afro-Cuban tracks recorded in Senegal.
Cuban music for Senegalese was the portal to a more just modern world. For Dakar’s youth, with access to a slew of new nightclubs in the 1960s and ‘70s, dancing to Cuban music was a revolutionary act.
But the Afro-Cuban ideal did not resonate entirely in a city as segregated as Dakar, with clear boundaries between the well-lit French quarters and the Medina — “quartiers indigènes” or native quarters.
Cuba’s vision was the Medina’s vision, and Cuban music connected the maligned Medina to a world outside of French domination. “But echoes of Cuban music had already been reverberating along the West African coast for several centuries”* through not only slave trade networks but even the routes of Afro-Caribbean and Senegalese sailors.
In the Medina, in this time of rich, revolutionary thought, Star Band de Dakar was born, the capital’s iconic Le Miami nightclub its headquarters. Led by some of Senegal’s most famous singers, like Youssou N’Dour and Laba Sosseh, Star Band achieved the perfect gumbo of Cuban and Senegalese sounds. Changüí, Guajira, Salsa, and Son mingled with cosmic Mbalax guitars, Sabar rhythms, Afro-Latin horns, and Spanish vocals spiced with a Senegalese twang.
With just two microphones and a four-track Revox tape recorder, Ibrahim Kassé, Star Band’s founder and owner of Le Miami, recorded their entire catalog in his nightclub. Each album contained one stand-out Afro-Cuban tune, often covers of Cuban classics or original compositions using the deep, layered sound that had evolved over centuries from the roundtrip journey across the Atlantic. Six of Star Band’s most psychedelic Afro-Cuban tracks, an ode to their finest hour, are selected here.
B2 Danguele Fasso
B3 Le Lolaye