Creative Review New Music
Oumou Sangaré is sharing the new video for ‘Kamelemba’, lifted from her critically applauded new album ‘Mogoya’ (out now via Nø Førmat!).
The video arrives close on the tail of Oumou’s recent appearances on ‘Later With Jools Holland’ (as part of the show’s first ever all-female line-up, alongside Lorde and Pumarosa) and as a guest on Mount Kimbie’s NTS Radio residency, which also featured the likes of Savages and James Blake.
Set in Paris’ 13th arrondissement, the slick, all female Afro-futurist video shot by Chris Saunders (also behind Oumou’s recent Yere Faga video) references Congolese ‘La Sape’ dandy culture in a deliberately non-gender, European setting. Bold, precise performances by the female dancers of the Swaggers Group form a retort to the mistreatment of women by the titular womanisers of ‘Kamelemba’, which Oumou outs in her lyrics.
Speaking about the track, Oumou says; “It’s about men who show off, who bring women down, about women who fall badly in love. I wrote that song to give advice to our sisters to be careful, because there are loads of kamelemba out there’. Oumou also explains that the lyrics are meant with a good deal of humour, ‘we do a lot of teasing in African music. We tease each other, but it isn’t malicious. These are messages we need to get across, but they’re not really mean. I accuse men, but some say, ‘women are like that too!’’
Kamelemba features Sangaré’s long-standing and trusted Kamel N’goni player, Benogo Diakité, alongside young Malian guitar player Guimba Kouyaté. The French production collective A.l.b.e.r.t. (who have also worked with Air, Beck and Franz Ferdinand) have added drum, bass and keyboards to the track to give a new modernity and to emphasise the raw power of Oumou’s voice.
Sangaré rocks in her own way and nothing is going to change that **** – MOJO
Sangaré sounds energised by the new production context – The Wire
Colourfully invigorating – The Fader
Proves that a catchy melody is still one of the best vessels for received wisdom – Pitchfork
Oumou offers loose grooves – Dazed & Confused
Magical…an album that deserves a hearing beyond the world music faithful **** – The Times
Another infectious single with a deep groove – Pigeons & Planes