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Collaboration Between Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) and Some of the African Nation of Mali's Finest Musicians Including Afel Boucoum, Toumani Diabate, Lobi Traore, Kasse Mady Diabate and Mali's Only Female Ngoni Player, Ko Kan Ko Sata Doumbia.
With Mali Music it's possible at last to see how Damon Albarn's foray into Africa has worked out: most members of what Albarn's friend Michael Nyman has dubbed the "world-music police" would probably be happy to give it a qualified thumbs-up. If some of the "Western" tracks are little more than an undifferentiated blur (no pun intended), the Malian ones are a delight. But it's what lies between that's interesting: what Albarn and his colleagues Afel Bocoum , Toumani Diabate, and Ko Kan Ko Sata Doumbia have achieved is best described as "the music of place." In "Kela Village" you can almost see the celebrations going on amid the chirruping of birds and the croaking of frogs; "Bamako City" comes with bags of local atmosphere. This CD was constructed in layers--after Albarn had edited down his 40 hours of raw material, he created collages with new melodies and beats and then sent his tapes back to Mali, where extra vocals and instrumental work were added. We thus get music that actually feels layered: a typical track will start with a simple groove on kora or ngoni, then it will acquire a voice, then some electronic effects, and will finally be enveloped in a seductive miasma of local atmosphere. Apart from some nifty Malian balafon and string work, there's nothing here of instrumental note (Albarn's instrument is a battered melodica), but that doesn't matter, because in this game the final effect is the thing. Disregard Albarn's pretentious guff about this representing the "Africanization of Western music" (where does the boy imagine jazz came from?) but do regard this CD as a healthy omen. --Michael Church
|2. Bamako City|
|3. Le Relax|
|4. Nabintoue Diakite (Live)|
|7. Tennesse Hotel|
|9. 4am At Toumani's|
|10. Institut National Des Arts|
|11. Kela Village|
|12. Griot Village|
|13. Le Hogon|
|14. Sunset Coming On|
|15. Ko Kan Ko Sata Doumbia On River|
|16. Les Ecros|
Got this album confused with the Gospel singer Mali Music which I love. However, this particular CD is not any music i'd like to listen to and it has a very scary sound to it. Read morePublished on July 25, 2013 by whateverman
I found it to be a recording that runs together.... Not much stands out....
Until one plays the songs in a shuffle with other albums. Read more
This record is a fine piece of work and represents a spirit of music that seems to be loss in the hype of manufactured bollocks. Read morePublished on January 16, 2005 by J. Ling
This is a beautiful record. Hands down. The musical textures and rhythmic layers are soothing and gorgeous. Listen to it with an open ear, it grows on you after 1 listen. Read morePublished on September 16, 2003 by Braden Mckinley
Damon , Damon , Damon...
mmm... this music is the greatest thing in my life.
I think Damon achieved his end in music when he went to Mali. Read more
For those of you out there in Brit Pop land who long for the days of the overly-hyped battle between the uppers (Blur) and the lowers (Oasis), this album is not for you. Read morePublished on December 5, 2002 by Jeff Lehan
Ok, I guess it's in Africa, but it doesn't matter anyway. I stereotype World music into one category: Boring. That said, this album isn't world music in my opinion... Read morePublished on November 27, 2002 by Z. Jacobson
I like this album a lot. I first heard the song "Sunset coming on" off a compilation CD. The music should be considered world music but not in the vain that they try in... Read morePublished on September 25, 2002 by William Russell