Soko - traditional djembe, dundun drum rhythm

Soko is a rhythm that originates from the Faranah region in the North West of Guinea, but these days a version is also played in Hamana and other parts of North Guinea. It is played for the Bilaködö (the uncircumsized boys), who dance the traditional Sökö dance. It may be played months before or the day before the circumcision depending on the region.

Mamady Keita has confirmed that Soko originated from the Kuranko people, and Mamady also tipped his hat to the late, great Fadouba Oulare as the one who understand Soko best.

You can see Mamady, Fadouba and Famoudou all playing Soko together in the below video.


Mamady says that the first job the young boys get, is to go around all the neighbouring villages, where they have relatives to let them know about the upcoming initiation.

Apparently, they have their heads shaved before they set out for the trip to the neighbouring villages.

They are sent off by themselves, so the boys have to deal with not getting lost, taking enough water and food, etc.

For boys 6-8 years old, that's not a mean feat. In a sense, doing this appears to be the first stage of their initiation.

The last Soko they do before the circumcision (mostly between 4 and 8 years old), is called: Bulalanbanfoli, and Bolokada Conde call this 'soko laban' on both his cds.

Soko dunduns

Soko Dundunba

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Soko Sangban

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Soko Kenkeni

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Soko Kenkeni - Faranah style

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Soko Kenkeni - Faranah style

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Other drum Notation for Soko

Djembe 1

Soko Djembe 1

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Notation player

Soko Djembe 2

Soko djembe 2 - MK

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Soko alternate kenkeni

Karim Koumbassa - thanks fo gr3vans

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Soko Solo

Jurgen: In general, I think that most of the typical stuff that is played on other rhythms of the Malinke with the same call does also work for Soko. But there are some that fit in quite beautiful. The example that comes to my mind is what Famoudou Konaté plays on Gidamba (the first one is better on Hamanh-style, I think):

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Soko solo enhancement

Jurgen: They are so beautiful in Soko (Faranah-style), I think they could have originally come from this rhythm (pure speculation).

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Djembe Videos for Soko

Solo Original - MK - with some small micro-timing errors

Live in Brussels

Babara Bangoura, Thomas Guei, Souleymane Camara, Alsény Camara à Bruxelles juillet 2008.avi Concert en première partie de Mamady Keita. Le rythme c'est bien sûr soko. Kenkeni: Monette Sangbang: Cécé Coli

Tribute to Fadouba Oularé 3

Moussa Oularé @ PARIS

Koumgbanan Condé

Fadouba Oulare - Soko & Kawa

Fadouba Oulare - Soko & Kawa from djembesolo.com on Vimeo.

Soko - Bamba Camara, Seny Touré et Foly Kan

SOKO by Souleymane Compo

soko solo:

Soko dance:

Fana Bangoura performs Soko drumming with Mounafanyi Guinea

Soko Recordings on djembefola.com

Jurgen kindly uploaded this file of some nice Soko djembe solo ideas. You need to be registered and signed in, in order to see download this file.

Soko learning material - books, dvds, learn online

Soko Books - books which include Soko:

Tasumakan

Serge Blanc, "The Djembe"

Daniel Genton, "Djembefola"

Mamady Keïta, "A Life For The Djembe"

Recordings:

Serge Blanc, "The Djembe", track 30

Ryan M. Camara, "Denbaya Drum & Dance: Intermediate/Advanced Instructional CD", tracks 34-47

Daniel Genton, "Djembefola", tracks 86-90

Jason Hann, "Yamama", tracks 1 & 7

Mamady Keïta, "Djembe Rhythms No. 6 Soko"

Mamady Keïta, "A Life For The Djembe", tracks 13-16

Ianto Thornber, "The Djembe Guide Volume 2", track 19

Fara Tolno, "Rhythm Reference #1 - Djembe Accompaniments", tracks 71-72

Fara Tolno, "Rhythm Reference #2 - Dundun Arrangements", tracks 85-86

Fara Tolno, "Rhythm Reference #3 - Dundun Advanced Ballet", track 39

DVDs:

Bafode "Laou Laou" Bangoura, "Wontanara - Dununba & Soko"

Bolokada Condé, "M'bara"

Mamady Keïta, "Rythmes Traditionnels Du Mandingue - Advanced"

Mamady Keïta, "Guinée: Les Rhythmes Du Mandeng Volume 3"

Fadouba Oulare, "Fadouba And Family"

Mamady Keïta & Sewa Kan, "Live @ Couleur Café"

Soko recordings on CD

CD:

Dialla Diawara, "Radio Kankan", track 10

Amadou Kienou & Fôteban, "Aya Fô", track 2

Bruul with Mansa Camio, "Bruul", track 8

Fadouba Oulare, "Come to Drum!" (Casette), track 8

Sebe Kourouma & Benkadi, "Moriah", track 3

Fodé Moussa Camara, "Bémankan" track 6

Alseny Michel Diallo, "Alseny Michel Diallo" - track 2, soko

Fore-Fote, "Wonbere: Music And Dance In Black & White" - track 11, soko

Beatwise & Mohamed Bangoura, "Beatwise", track 7

Bolokada Condé, "Morowaya", Soko Laban, track 1

Bolokada Condé, "Sankaran", track 2

Karamba Diabate, "Journey Into Rhythm", track 5

Fore-Fote, "Wonbere", track 11

Mamady Keïta, "Mögöbalu", track 3

Billy Nankouma Konaté, "Saboule Moyala N'wolobalou Kobarika", track 3

Famoudou Konaté, "Rhythmen Der Malinke", track 11

Fadouba Oulare, "Fadouba Oulare", track 1

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