Ivory Coast’s Baoulé music scene changed forever when singer, composer, percussionist and women’s rights activist Antoinette Konan dropped her debut self-titled 1986 debut album. She introduced the world to the Ahoko (a traditional percussion instrument originating from the central part of Ivory Coast, Africa), as well as bringing lively, textured and colourful compositions to her music.
Antoinette Konan features some raw and dynamic moments such as on the track “Abidjan Adja,” with its highly hypnotic percussion-heavy rhythms and groovy basslines throughout. The subtle guitar leads provide a soulful touch to the track as well. There’s something truly tribal and raw about her music. “M’ackô” similarly has a fun and infectious grooves, with percussion, thick and funky basslines as well as a hypnotic, driving beat that keeps the tempo of the track high. Her vocal performance throughout the project is soulful and utterly beautiful throughout the six tracks on this album. The melodies on “Evignen” are beautiful, as the slower synths and wind instrumentation adds ethereal touch to the track. “Yalé” is another fun, colourful and synth-heavy track, with guitar leads, infectious basslines, soulful guitar leads and a thumping beat that ends the album off brilliantly. Antoinette Konan’s soul and energy is felt all over her self-titled 1986 classic, which makes it such a great listen from front to back. The percussion is absolutely stunning throughout, and I’m glad I came across this fantastic body of work.
Listen to Antoinette Konan’s inspiring self-titled 1986 album below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Reissued & re-released via Awesome Tapes from Africa.