Friday, April 06, 2007

music in mali

As promised, I've written an article on the music of Mali for the ace Hii Dunia blog - the first in a series of looks at African music. Following here is the intro to the article and, first, a stab at a Malian music top ten (caution, emphatically not the opinion of an expert):

1. Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabeté - In The Heart of The Moon
2. Amadou et Mariam - Dimanche à Bamako
3. Tinariwen - Aman Iman
4. Ali Farka Touré - Savane
5. Salif Keita - M'Bemba
6. Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni ba - Segu Blue
7. Super Biton de Segou - Afro Jazz du Mali
8. Toumani Diabeté's Symmetric Orchestra - Boulevard De L'Independance
9. Afel Bocoum - Alkibar
10. Vieux Farka Touré - Vieux Farka Touré

If you're looking for a nice flavour of the country, Damon Albarn's 'Mali Music' is a nice collaborative overview, and, for a more challenging but vibrant entry-point, 'Bush Taxi Mali', from the, er, sublime, Sumblime Frequencies label, is a collection of amazing field recordings, incorporating street sounds and local radio as well as original performances. Amazing stuff.

From Hii Dunia, then:

When talking about music in Africa, it is inevitably Mali that first comes to mind. The landlocked, flat country in the heart of West Africa has become synonymous with expressive, beautiful music with a capacity to cross over and win the hearts of Western enthusiasts. In the last seven years Malian music has swept all before it and threatened, for the first time since the early 1980s, to push African music back into popular culture in the UK and Europe. So why is the music of a land so arid so musically fertile? And where should the novice start?
Well, the list above might help - otherwise, read the rest of the article here.

1 comment:

Kat said...

the only malian musician i know is rokia traoré because i've seen her in concert in vienna. she is amazing, apparently so fragile, yet so full of energy.