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Leon Keïta - S/T (IEX, 180g) LP



Midway through the Mandingue groove inferno that is “Dakan Sate, Korotoumi” I knew I had found a gem. Hypnotic guitar solos, heavy bass riffs, psychedelic organ lines, and funky horns … what more could you want? A fixture on the Malian music scene, Leon Keïta was born in Guinea before finding his way to the Malian capital where he worked as a teacher, organiser of cultural festivals, accountant and musician.

Although Leon didn’t make many solo recordings, his songs continue to inspire the reverence of anyone fortunate enough to have heard them. In recent years the song “Dalaka” was rediscovered by Barranquilla’s sound system operator Carlos Estrada and became an unexpected hit on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Twelve years after the release of the critically-acclaimed Bambara Mystic Soul compilation, this new compilation takes another deep-dive into Mandingue culture with five sides recorded during Leon Keïta’s late 70s sessions. The LP, pressed on 180g virgin vinyl and housed in a beautiful screen-printed jacket, is limited to 2000 copies worldwide.

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