Bassekou Kouyate’s ‘Jama Ko’, is a song about unity and respect, written in Mali when the country was tragically on the brink of war. Kouyate wanted to impart a sense uplifting positivity across his troubled country via musical productivity. With this in mind, Clima Records head Arno E. Mathieu sought to curate alternative versions to Kouyate’s original, to take this same positivity and apply it to the dance floor. Personally struck by Kouyate’s musical intentions, Mathieu’s mission made sure the alternative versions lose none of Jama Ko’s original emotive positivity and hopefulness.
‘Blueprint Version’ from Amsterdam DJ and producer Masalo transforms ‘Jama Ko’ into an infectious, high-energy, peak-time track. Incessant, marching drums and soaring synth staccatos are added to the vocal and string work of the original. Crucially, it is the original emotive vocals, sparingly deployed and acoustic, explorative free roaming strings that remain the centrepiece of the track. Mathieu’s self-professed goal was to make the original song “even deeper”, which Masalo certainly achieves. While the formula of the ‘Blueprint Version’ is familiar, it undoubtedly fulfils Mathieu’s enthusiasm and goal of spreading and reinterpreting Kouyate’s original positivity.
Jama Ko (Alternative Versions) is out 16th June – buy from Juno.