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Amadou and Mariam - Welcome to Mali

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 8 / 12 / 2008

Amadou and Mariam - Welcome to Mali
Label: Because
Format: CD


Excellent combination of American funk, reggae and britpop on Damon Albarn-produced sixth album from Malinese couple, Amadou and Mariam

"The blind couple from Mali" is the frequently used line of introduction to (in italic) Amadou et Mariam (/) and since 'Welcome To Mali' is the duo's sixth album in ten years we now ought to think of new ways to put them to your deserved attention. Even the English speaking market have given in to the obvious talents of Amadou and Mariam. Thanks to cassette my friend, Dutch radio presenter Ben Joosten, gave me, I have been with the duo's music from the very start. Swapping Manu Chao for Damon Albarn in the producer's seat proves no serious mistake for Amadou and Mariam. Manu Chao's latin touch on the duo's magnificent pop music made way for a return to the use of traditional Malinese instruments on their 2005 album, 'Dimanche a Barnako'. Albarn's production brings in blurry, trippy britpop effects, but he does pay his tribute to his predecessor though in the production of 'Je te kiffe' which is very little else than one big kiss on the French producer's cheek. On 'Brenda-Mali' this all adds up and Amadou and Mariam disclose the missing link in American funk, reggae and britpop keyboards. 'Batoma' then brings the album to its highest gear and runs in to the climax of 'Sekebe'. Dance music in its bare essentials, just one tight brass arrangement and funky guitar licks deliver the job and Damon Albarn gratefully borrows from dubstep to stir up an excellent party atmosphere.

Track Listing:-
1 Sabali
2 Ce N'est Pas Bon
3 Magossa
4 Djama
5 Djuru
6 Je Te Kiffe (feat. Juan Rozoff)
7 Masiteladi (feat. M)
8 Africa (feat. K'NAAN)
9 Compagnon de la Vie
10 Unissons Nous (feat. Keziah Jones)
11 Bozos
12 I Follow You (Nia Na Fin)
13 Welcome to Mali
14 Batoma
15 Sebeke
16 Bimogo (Exclusive Bonus Track)

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Folila (2012)
Messy latest album from acclaimed Malinese Amadou and Mariam, which despite unsuitable collaborations with acts such as the Scissor Sisters, finds them still capable of composing great funky tunes

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