I Self Destroy Il compose et interprète ses chansons avec générosité, peut-être parce qu’il ne sait pas faire autrement. Mpoual, but it seems he passed away in The side chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of Bethlehem, has a 14th-century altar-piece in painted stone. This song was originally composed by the Assiko guitar player Minka, from the district of Bot Makak, which is about thirty miles north of Eséka. See more of Dj Aladin on Facebook. To get an idea of the modern Assiko dance show check out the videos of the Olivier de Clovis Assiko group on Youtube.
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This next group of songs were also recorded by Samuel Mpoual at the Radio Douala studios, and then commercially released on the Disque Africambiance label. Traditionally, Assiko guitarists played both the bass and lead parts; Jean Bikoko was the first to bring in another instrument to provide the low-end foundation. Or browse results titled:. These are the wines which the French authorities unreservedly allow to be labelled with the grape variety from which they were made. Now, several weeks of phone calls and interviews later, here is what I learned about Cameroonian Assiko music and especially about the gifted Jean Bikoko Aladin. Sur Une Vague You Got the Luck by Sidibe.
When I first started, twenty years ago, to explore the musics of Africa, recordings of many popular African styles, and detailed information about them, were hard to come by. Today, thanks especially to the generous efforts of dedicated African music bloggers all of whom are more prolific than I amthere is a wealth of terrific recordings from throughout the continent available at the click of a mouse.
Throughout all of Africa, the 20th century was a time of explosive musical creativity; similar historical processes and cultural interactions saw the birth of countless styles and genres across the continent. For example, what exactly do you call the popular musics of the two Congos?
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Does the term Rumba refer to all of the popular musics of the last six decades, or does it only refer to the sung verses before the sebene, or both? Does the name Soukous mean anything to music fans in both Congos?
About a month ago I started going through a set of reels that Radio Doula gave us back in and a large stack of Cameroonian vinyl, and the more I listened especially to the recordings of one Jean Bikoko Aladin the more I yearned for taxonomic clarity and a deeper knowledge of Assiko. Now, several weeks of phone calls and interviews later, here is what I learned about Cameroonian Assiko music and especially about the gifted Jean Bikoko Aladin.
Today, to speak of Assiko music in Cameroon is to speak of the music of the Bassa people from Southern Cameroon. Assiko, like so much of 20th century African music is a syncretic form; it developed, probably over one hundred years ago, when the acoustic guitar, first brought to Cameroon by Portuguese sailors, was married to the Ngola rhythm of the Bassa.
Over the first half of the 20th century Assiko music was the rhythm of celebrations throughout Bassa country, performed by guitar players who traveled the Assiko circuit that took them to Eséka, Mésondo and Edéa, and through all of the villages in between, with detours to the Bassa neighborhoods of Douala.
These migrant guitar players, accompanied by a percussionist keeping the pulse on a glass bottle beat with two iron rods, kept Bassa audiences dancing late into the night. And it was on this circuit, performing his way through the villages of Bassa land, that Jean Bikoko Aladin cut his teeth. He was born around his actual date of birth is unknown in a village not far from Eséka. After a few years of elementary school at the Catholic Mission in Eséka, Jean Bikoko left his family to find work, and while still in his mid-teens was hired as a cook and servant for a logger in the forest village of Bonepoupa, located 65 miles northwest of Eséka.
It was in Bonepoupa that Jean Bikoko first tried his hand at the guitar, building his own rudimentary instrument out of bamboo and bark, and studying the techniques of local guitar players Albert Dikoumé and Hiag Henri. From Bonepoupa, Jean Bikoko moved to Songmbenguè, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Edéa, where he hauled cinderblocks on construction sites during the day, youu entertained at night with his guitar.
And fate did, when yoh too long after his arrival he met Alexandre Ekong, a guitar player who performed regularly on Radio Douala.
Within a short time his Assiko rhythm was a listener favorite. The label would release 75 Jean Sonb Aladin singles; Africambiance also released singles by Anne-Marie Nzié, and a variety of modern and traditional groups from throughout Cameroon. With the revenue from his many singles and residencies at several of the most prestigious nightclubs in Douala and Edéa, the s were a prosperous decade for Jean Bikoko.
Instill flush with cash, Jean Bikoko opened his own hotel and restaurant in his hometown of Eséka. Although Jean Bikoko would make a few recordings over mxy next two decades, with notably a few hits in the s, his time in the limelight had come to an end. By the time Noé Ndjebet Massoussi went looking for Jean Bikoko Aladin in Eséka, inthe Assiko legend was trying to keep the power from getting cut to his now rundown bar where he still played on weekends the hotel and restaurant he built in burnt down decades aaldin.
The last half-dozen years have seen, however, the resurgence of Jean Bikoko Aladin his fretboard bee earned him the Aladin nickname. These radio recordings could all have been made in the early s, just as they could be archival recordings that Jean Bikoko made in the s. All of the recordings were made live in the Radio Douala studios with one microphone running into a Nagra, with engineer Samuel Mpoual at the controls I tried to track down Mr. Mpoual, but it seems he passed away in This theme, however, is not developed in the rest of the song.
Before Jean Bikoko came on the scene the Bassa danced the Assiko with their elbows and their torso, with individual dancers taking turns in front of the musicians. Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip.
Traditionally, Assiko guitarists played both the bass and lead parts; Jean Bikoko was the first to bring in another instrument to provide the low-end foundation.
At various times he experimented with a bass xylophone, a large three-key sanza or bass-box, and an upright string bass. It sounds to me like these radio recordings all feature the bass-box.
This song was originally composed by the Assiko guitar player Minka, from the district of Bot Makak, which is about thirty miles north of Eséka. Jean Bikoko tells the story of the day he was robbed. What I am going to do? I am wallowing in misery. This next group of songs were also recorded by Samuel Mpoual at the Radio Douala studios, bee then commercially released on the Disque Africambiance label.
As a whole they sound a little more saturated than the radio recordings but feature some terrific playing we have a couple dozen Africambiance singles and many of them are pretty terrible pressings. Ruben Um Nyobé was killed by the French army in September ofand remains a hero to the Bassa people. These final two tracks are more lighthearted. This is another showcase for his driving guitar and pulsing Assiko alladin. But perhaps even more than his guitar playing it is his showmanship that has changed Assiko music.
Today, Assiko dance performances are a mainstay of Cameroonian cultural festivals, and specialized Assiko clubs in Douala and Yaoundé feature very popular acrobatic Assiko dance troupes. To get an idea of the modern Assiko dance show check out ylu videos of the Olivier de Clovis Assiko group on Youtube. A very special thanks to Mr. I found a late 60s? Thanks for the tip! The amount of work and dedication, and the wealth of information you put into each post, more than make aladln for their relative infrequency.
Thank you for putting this together. According to the VOA website Bikoko started releasing 45s at least 75 singles in the earlys and was a major star […]. Thank you very much Matthew Lavoie. I was thrilled to stumble across these acoustic recordings of Jean Bikoko as well as some insight into his history and influence on the dance style. Dear Luke, So glad you found these enjoyable and useful! Uou of luck in your program. Drop by again sometime.
Jean Bikoko Aladin The King of Assiko
By Matthew Lavoie on December 9, By admin on October 31, Listen to Archived Music from VOA Sites by Language. English Worldwide English voanews. Aladi September 16th, at 8: September 26, at 5: October 2, at 2: July 7, at 3: September 29, at 4: Bikila bi Gwet says: February 28, at 5: August 12, at 9: August 15, at 1: December 15, at