Francis Bebey – African Electronic Music 1975-82 – 2LP – Afro Folktronica
Camerounian Francis Bebey is one of those been there, done it all kind of guys – yes, really. Classical guitar recitals on the side while working as a journalist and international civil servant, all of this activity influencing the pop sounds he became fameux for in Africa and the French speaking universes.
He also had an electronic period in the 70s, and this 2LP gem explores the first electronic keyboards, organs and drum machines that offered him new possibilities of totally controlling his compositions. He embraced the technique of “sound on sound” recording (recording several tracks, sequentially juxtaposed on the same tape). This new stage in his musical career included the production of several records (“Savannah Georgia,” “New Track”, “Haiti”), rarities both for their creative explorations as well as their manifestations on vinyl. This was a particularly rich period for him, as he tested the limitless possibilities of the medium, and made use of surprising and novel instruments.
Have a listen to the sounds below – Bebey is quite astonishing in his creativity but always lined to his roots of the country he came from and living in.