Until recently not much was known about music from Burkina Faso, formerly called the Upper Volta. It is still one of West Africa lesser known forms of popular music. A few years before the country changed its name to Burkina Faso, thanks to Thomas Sankara’s dream for a new society, Voltaic music emerged as some form of true cultural revolution. Remote, poor and isolated, Burkina Faso looked to the orchestras and artists from neighbouring countries such as Mali, The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin. Located at its northern border, Niger is the only other West African country whose music stayed as isolated as the music hailing from Burkina Faso. Most of its bands and artists hail mostly from Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. They infuse some of the rich local traditions, such as mossi dances or dioula singing, with afro-cuban flavours, American rhythm’n’blues, French pop or Congolese rumba. Electric guitars and organs swirl around balafon and solid horn sections. Despite the fact that the 1960’s and 1970’s Upper Volta lacked a proper recording studio and record pressing plant, there was a great deal of popular music produced in the country from the late 1960’s to the early 1980’s, mostly on seven inches.
(added: 2013-11-22 12:30:27 )