Sunday, 26 October 2008

Amadou & Mariam – Welcome To Mali

Something a bit different and unusual here. It’s African music, but highly influenced by all sorts of other flavours. It doesn’t help the casual listener that there’s some weird synthesised vocals on opening track Sabali that are highly irritating to say the least, and which draw away from a rather nice spacey electro tune. Ce N’est Pas Bon works much better, the African music is toned down for Western consumption, yet it still takes you to a place in the desert, dark yet welcoming.
Following that, Magosa shakes and shimmies nicely, Djama has a sweet reggae lilt to it, Djuru has an oriental vibe to it while Je Te Kiffe has a laid back hip-hop feel infusing the music. Masiteladi is upbeat and bouncy, and has a cautious celebratory thing going on. The rhythm is like slowed down drum and bass. Compagnon de la Vie and Batoman are much more traditional, more like what I was expecting. The former locks into a groove and sways to the rhythm as male and female vocalists share the words around, weaving in and out effortlessly. Unissons Nous has the funk, and wants to set off running, but reigns itself back in constantly and I Follow You is graceful, with almost a classical air the way the strings give it an amazing gravitas.
I love getting treats from unexpected sources, and this is another one.

Visit their website here

Welcome To Mali is released on 17th November on Because Music

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