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The Singles - Season 2: Kalamaya
Kalamaya, "episode" #2 of The Singles - Season 2 is available today! Click HERE to download!
Read on to see this week's liner notes....
Notes from The Commissioner
Tani Diakite
About Kalamaya
Tani Diakite, the singer on Kalamaya, is from the Wassoulou region of Mali. The language he's singing in is Bambara (also called Bamanakan), and very roughly translated, Kalamaya means "it's not good to fight." That's also not quite the right way to spell it, but Tani didn't get back to us until after the track went out to the distributors. Oops... Anyway, the lyrics of the chorus are (again, very loosely translated): "Music makes me happy / I don't want to fight / I just want to play my ngoni / I don't want to stop." In other words, "I don't want to fight, I just want to play my ngoni all day!"
The song was built around Tani's melody and kamale ngoni (African harp, like a cora but smaller), but since Tani makes this stuff up on the fly, the final version is very much Kicksville-ized...there isn't much structure to Tani's open-ended jamming/improv. And forget about getting him to do the same thing twice! Wink

The Music
Tani's melody is incredibly haunting and beautiful - the main goal when arranging this song was to stay out of its way! Andy Ewen's guitar part (the main riff through the song) really adds a nice touch of old-school R&B, and Chris Huntington's flowing Afro-pop lines in the bridge provide an interesting contrast. Spice it up with some airy synth textures and a 1974 Buick hubcap strapped on top of a snare drum, and you've got a song!

cover art: "Spiritual" by Tone Deaf
Conrad St. Clair: bass, guitar, keys, programming
Mike Stehr: keys
Lou Caldarola: drum kit
Tani Diakite: kamale ngoni, vocals
Andy Ewen: guitar
Chris Huntington: guitar
Beaker: hubcap, ride cymbal
Djam Vivie: djembe, kroboto
Season 1 Collector's Edition out now!
Now you can pick up your very own copy of The Singles - Season 1 Collector's Edition! We have pressed a limited run of CDs, which includes a nifty booklet with a letter from The Mayor, Andy Ewen's eye-popping artwork, and the weekly blogs that went along with the releases. Visit our web store before they're all sold out! The full package is also available as a download through iTunes (the booklet is attached as a PDF file).
More to come....
Next week: Krankypants