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Beta Foly

This CD, the first of the group Beta Foly, is the documentation of a meeting in which the computer encounters the djembè, the balafon, the bolon, and others to create a fusion of contemporary ideas and ancestral traditions, and thus to give birth to the Afro N`Kuman style of Beta Foly.

Beta Foly : Lukas Ligeti, Kurt Dahlke, Lamine Baldé, Tiémoko Kanté, Babagalé Kanté, Yéro Bobo Bah, Mamadou Dao, Aly Keita, Siriki Keita, Lassiné Koné, Monbiba, Sékouba Traoré, Amadou Leye M´Baye, Hervé Marius Blé Yao, Wendé K.Blass, Antoinette Adoua Kangah, Jean Claude Lauboué, Mai Lingani, & as special guest musician Henry Kaiser.


What began as a music workshop and cultural exchange involving African and Western musicians has developed over three years into a band playing exciting new music built on African styles that interact with concepts from other parts of the world and the latest technologies in innovative ways.
Quite a few African-Western collaborations take place these days, but no other has produced the results heard on this recording.


Composer-drummer Lukas Ligeti and his project partner, seminal German new wave musician Kurt Dahlke, brought the latest MIDI equipment and other computerized and electronic gear, as well as Ligeti`s main instrument, the trap drum set, to see what would happen when traditional African musicians began stirring those electronic spices into the cross-cultural musical stew. The Africans were as eager to explore the new territory as Ligeti and Dahlke were to work with traditional artists.


The computers and samplers were used to treat sounds and forms in ways not usually associated with world music, and to facilitate polymetric ensemble interplay. But far more than a product of any technology, the music was the result of all participating artists inspiring each other, with Ligeti`s breakthrough approach to polymetric drumming (listen to "L`Escalier du temps","Langage en dessin", and Village dans 8 pays") serving as a catalyst for musical creativity with his West African partners. He tuned into their styles, with intoducing his own compositional approach, which in itself is based on an openness for the most unusual forms of inspiration.


The result of this adventurous collaboration makes no attempt at smoothing out some of the jarring collisions of eras, cultures and styles. The musician in the large ensemble that is BETA FOLY listen to each other, and play music in the moment. In THIS moment. It is very much music of today, music that reflects what is going on in global societies, where regional differences are preserved even as the musician meld them with any number of other elements, so it`s no suprise that there are references here to worlds as seemingly disparate as techno and Korean, samba and punk, out jazz and psychedelic rock. And it is music of a very busy, very energized world, where many different experiences happen simultaneously. Overall, it is exuberant, joyous music filled with possibilities.


The closest Ligeti will come to putting a label on this new music is to say that it is "avant garde meeting the roots of rock and jazz", roots which are present as living and functional elements within the musical traditions of West Africa.
Listen to this recording with the same open mind and ears that its musicians had when they recorded it. There are layers of music and meaning, shifting centers and focus. And this one recording where being able to listen repeatadly can pay off, as more subtle points and textures move to the listening surface.
- Larry Kelp -

Here is a link to Amazon, where you can buy the Beta Foly-CD.


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