Hailed by the New York Times as an “irresistible brew of West African music and electronica,” BURKINA ELECTRIC is the first electronica band from Burkina Faso whose music combines the country’s traditions and rhythms with contemporary electronic dance culture, making it a trailblazer in electronic world music. With bandmembers living in Burkina Faso, New York City, and Germany, this wildly innovative ensemble consists of four musicians and two dancers who collectively participate in the creative process.
Burkina Electric seeks to enrich the fabric of electronic dance music by using unusual rhythms, such as ancient rhythms of the Sahel. Sounds of traditional instruments and found sounds recorded in Burkina Faso are used to create a unique musical world that is all their own. The band’s performances are often further enhanced by the use of live-manipulated video.
Maï Lingani, a star in Burkina Faso because of her unique voice, sings in multiple languages while premier Burkinabé guitarist, Wende K. Blass, contributes soulful melodies. Electronicist/VJ Pyrolator is one of Germany’s most inventive pop musicians as founding member of bands D.A.F. and Der Plan, while composer/percussionist Lukas Ligeti, who receives commissions from prominent groups such as the Kronos Quartet, is known internationally for his nonconformity and imagination. Vicky and Zoko Zoko are skilled dancers/choreographers who bring high energy and sharp moves.
Burkina Electric has performed all across the U.S. and beyond at venues such as the Festival Jazz à Ouaga in Burkina Faso, Joe’s Pub in NYC, and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. With choreographer Karole Armitage and her dance company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Burkina Electric co-created works that were performed at Lincoln Center in NYC; Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Italy; the BAM Next Wave Festival; the Opera de Monte Carlo; the Grand Théâtre de Verviers in Belgium; the Ludwig-Forum in Aachen, Germany; and at Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park. Burkina Electric also recently gave concerts at the Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI; the Newman Center in Denver, CO; Central Park Summerstage; the Luminato Festival in Toronto; and at the Montreal Jazz Festival, among many others.
The group’s debut full-length album, Paspanga, was released in 2010 by the New York-based label Cantaloupe Music.