Snap Sounds: Super 11

Pub date December 21, 2011
WriterEmily Savage


Led by hand drumming, three-stringed n’goni lute, and organic pitch shifting Malian chant, Super 11’s Super Onze is a compelling set of songs. The band, a collective formed in a remote region of Northern Mali, plays Takamba, a type of music typically created for weddings and other ceremonies. It comes from a rich musical history, linked to other artists in the area, and in style to acts such as Ali Farka Touré.

I first came to Super 11 through cantorial-blues act Sway Machinery. The Sway Machinery traveled to Mali a few years back to work on an album and Gao-based Super 11 ended up appearing on the New York act’s double record — a brilliant decision. It’s no wonder the collab worked. Merely explore the fiery opening vocal solo on Super Onze‘s “Khoumeissa,” or fall deep into any of the album’s thumping hand-made dance beats. It’s available at