An old record sleeve vs. a new CD. Super Biton de Ségou.
LP Afro Jazz Du Mali, Super Biton de Ségou (1986), Bolibana Productions BP 13
Thrown on the market in 1986, the LP of the Malian company Super Biton De Ségou left a huge impression on my ears which were just wrestled free from metal. Liberated from the restrictions of a genre, I heard the music of Super Biton on the radio on a Wednesday. Since then, I have forgotten which programme it was but I cherished the tape which contained that music for a long time. Last year, so 21 years later, I finally found the LP with on it the music in question on a record-fair-happening in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
21 years ago, the sounds that were penetrating my eardrums were strange and exciting to me. Now, after all this time, it still proves to be an unprecedented Malian treasure. The sleeve of this LP, produced by Bolibana, is a picture too: a drawn composition of this twelve-member company. It is decorated with colourful textboxes in which one can read the band name and the title of the LP on a woodcut-like background.
Members of the legendary orchestra Super Biton resurface a little while later with the celebrated company Super Djata Band, founded by Zani Diabaté, and they also make a world-shatteringly beautiful live record with the Milady Music label. Many years later, however, we encounter Dramane Diarra and Zoumana Diarra of Super Biton and Super Djata again as a part of Benkadi International. This band, operating from Groningen, the Netherlands, still exists and the multi-talented Zoumana Diarra is also still part of its strength. In 1997, they recorded the fine album “Djoulolou” that was produced by Stern’s Records; a label bound to be known by that part of the population that loves African music. The additional songs in this broadcast come from the CD “Djoulolou”. But first pure Super Biton fun for all of six songs.