Francis Bebey – Un Petit Ivoirien


Cameroon born novelist, poet, musicologist, historian, radio DJ and multi-instrumentalist Francis Bebey (1929) conjured up this relatively unknown record for Ozileka Records in 1979. If you’re familiar with his classical guitar work, this stuff may come as a suprise. Deploying an assortment of synthesisers, the tunes range from feather-light afropop to very exciting grooves. One of the best features is the soundmix, that has a very attractive demo quality to it. I wouldn’t be suprised if Bebey played all instruments here. It’s a nice album as it is, but heat is provided by the humorous track Il n’y a pas de crocodiles a Cocody (There are no Crocodiles in Cocody) that has insanely loud percussion and a narrator (Bebey) who occasionally hums along with the weirded out melody.

Listen to: Francis Bebey (Il n’y a pas de crocodiles a Cocody)

28 Comments

  • this is awesome.. thanks!

  • Ay! I used to have a copy of Bebey’s ‘Rire African’ which included this song – and how wonderful to hear it again! Great site!

  • Love it! Reminds me of other albums I used to have…

  • Nice to see Bebey getting some attention. Also check out Akwaaba issued in the states on Original music. The album was called Sanza Nocturne on the Ozeilka label, and has some wonderful Sanza work along with some amazing vocals, and strange funky grooves

  • I lived in Cocody for a time and this great track and Alpha Blondy’s Cocody Rock were our theme tunes for the duration.

  • I also was living in Cocody (a neihborhood of Abidjan) for a few years back in the 80’s, so there definetely is an Ivory Coast connection

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