Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band - Juguya

Baba Commandant & The Mandingo Band - Juguya

Verdict: 4/5

Sublime Frequencies




February 2015

Written By

Dragoș Rusu


May 5, 2015

Burkinabé traditional music has continued to flourish and musical output remains quite diverse. In spite of this influx of popular styles, a few original talents have emerged, such as Koudbi Koala's Saaba, who perform traditional Mossi music from the region around Ouagadougou, the nation's capital. Popular traditional groups from Burkina Faso include balafon bands, percussion ensembles and others such as Farafina and Gabin Dabiré, who use elements of traditional Burkinabé music.

Burkinabé music tradition is rich and loaded, but how does it sound nowadays? It seems that the awe-inspiring people from Sublime Frequencies have managed to place this quest in a professional environment, resulting a great album of contemporary Afrobeat delivered by Burkibabé based musician Baba Commandant and his Mandingo Band. On his real name Mamadou Sanou, Baba is an original and eccentric character, well respected in the Burkinabé musical community.

After joining the Koule Dafourou troupe as a dancer, baba embarked later on his current musical direction as a singer, first in Dounia and then in the Afromandingo Band. Baba Commandant plays the ngoni, a stringed instrument that is an ancestor of the banjo, also the instrument of the Donso (the traditional hunters in this region of Burkina Faso and Mali). Members Simon Chenet and Issouf Diabaté are both on guitar solo duties, with Frenchman Chenet assigning an electric trance with his solos and Diabaté adding even more metal feel.

Juguya is an eight tracks package, conveying essential rhythms, soulful, gritty, funky vibes and combining in a distinctive mode the heritage from Fela Kuti and Africa ‘70s, Moussa Doumbia (the James Brown of Mali) together with American rock and funk genres. This is modern DIY Afrobeat sound with the ngoni.

Party mood activated! Don’t miss this.


A1. Tilé
A2. Djanfa
A3. Wasso
A4. Folon
B1. Ntijiguimorola
B2. I Kanafo
B3. Siguisso
B4. Juguya