Yé Ké Yé Ké

I’m a little late with this but thought it was worth paying tribute to a star of African music, Mory Kante, a singer and musician who had a genuine late 80s/ early 90s crossover hit. Mory’s death was on 22nd May, caused by underlying health issues which were complicated by being unable to travel to France for treatment due to Covid- 19 restrictions. Mory was born and raised in Guinea, West Africa, brought up in the Mandinka griot tradition (a griot is a hereditary role, a storyteller, musician, historian, poet). His song Yé Ké Yé Ké became a huge hit, the first African single to sell a million copies, and was a top end of the charts record in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. The album Akwaba Beach, his third, sold in large numbers as a result of the single. Yé Ké Yé Ké was also a major club song, being in tune with the expansive, open Balearic sounds of the late 80s and was remixed several times. The chanted vocal and pounding rhythms caused mayhem in clubs, an uplifting and intense experience when surrounded by like minded souls, dry ice and strobes.

This version came out in 1987, remixed by Martyn Young of Colourbox and MARRS (and engineered by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins), the bassline and acid sounds perfectly married to the Mandinka vocals and West African rhythms.

Yé Ké Yé Ké (Afro Acid Mix)

In 1994 German duo Hardfloor remixed it and sent it out around the world’s dancefloors again. A harder, more techno version.

Yé Ké Yé Ké (Hardfloor Remix)

R.I.P. Mory Kante.