Ballaké Sissoko et Vincent Segal

The very first time I heard the magnificent musical dialogue between Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal  – I was blown away by the beautiful mating of sounds between the kora and cello.

Here’s what Songlines says about the latest recording from this unique artist collaboration:

Ballaké Sissoko is one of Mali’s great kora players and Vincent Segal is a French cellist and producer of remarkable refinement. Their debut, Chamber Music, was one of Jo Frost’s picks of 2010 and this is just as good – perhaps better as the duo have performed together so much they seem to respond to each other instinctively. The contrast of plucked and bowed strings is much of the magic, although Segal is frequently playing pizzicato or creating percussive or flute-like sounds on his cello. The title comes from the fact that much of the album was atmospherically recorded at nighttime on Sissoko’s rooftop in Bamako. SB

Listen via Spotify

Thomas Fersen on Thé ou Café: “Un coup de queue de vache”

I love this description of Thomas Fersen, a French singer-songwriter whom I’ve long admired. “Juste un merveilleux poète qui allume des bougies d’anniversaire dans les yeux de qui l’entend”  [Translated] “Fersen is a simply wonderful poet who lights birthday candles in the eyes of those who hear him.”

Here is Fersen performing on on Thé ou Café

And his interview from the same program


For the ukelele players, here’s a nice video showing the chords  from Fersen’s most famous tune, “Louise” I’m going to attempt this on my own uke and perhaps post later!

Christine and the Queens Performs on Colbert

Christine and the Queens is back with a new album and a very new look.

Just as Héloïse Letissier became Christine with her harem of Queens, so does Christine, now, become Chris.

The enigmatic French pop star known as Christine and the Queens put out a new record this year with a bold new face on it, a male alter-ego similar to that of Lady Gaga’s Jo Calderone. Chris, the album and the persona, explores the complexity of gender and the privileges it affords some above others. And how better to show this off visually than with an androgynous dance explosion to her song “Comme Si,” from Chris, on the set of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? Though Letissier switched to English language songs after hitting major league international fame (a trend often found among contemporary French pop singers), the song has a wicked French refrain that will get stuck in your head and have you dancing for hours.


Source: Christine and the Queens Performs on Colbert

How Kiev became the new Eldorado for French rap

The Ukrainian capital regularly appears in French rap clips. Orelsan, Stromae, Damso … All have ventured on the banks of the Dnieper for one or more videos. Gringe has also chosen Kiev as part of the first clip of his next album.
We took advantage of the shoot to try to understand this craze.

” One more shoot! ” Exclaims a Ukrainian descending from the Marchroutka – these minibuses appeared in eastern countries at the fall of the Eastern bloc – which brings him back to Troieshchyna. In this popular and residential district of Kiev, located on the left bank of the Dnieper, the inhabitants are not surprised even more to see land cameras and technicians down the “panielki”. [ . . . ]

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