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Mali Music

Mali Music

15 Apr 2002
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 15 April 2002
  • Release Date: 29 Nov. 2004
  • Label: EMI UK
  • Copyright: 2002 Parlophone Records Ltd. This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 Parlophone Records Ltd
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 57:35
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001JE278E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,228 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There's something for everyone here. You don't have to love world music to appreciate such songs as Sunset Coming On, whilst tracks like The Diembe and Niger, which mix dub reggae with laid back Malian vibes, prove irresistable. On top of these are a wealth of African sounds that will convert those unsure about what such music sounds like. Damon and friends are to be congratulated. They've managed to produce what will be an essential soundtrack of the summer for all those who buy this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Thoes of you who like the way the first Manu Chao record makes you feel will like this. It mixes and matches new and old with great delight and at the same time effortlessly blends different worlds. They obviously had so much FUN making this record and you can hear it in every note. Damon's melodica may not be perfect, but would sound wrong somehow if it was. (Great to hear melodica being used in a starring role again too - Augustus Pablo, you are much missed...) This is a record to chill out to whilst wearing a big smile on your face. Life affirming!
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Format: Audio CD
Do you need a change? Are you in the mood for something new and exotic? Well then, how does a trip to Mali sound? Good? Then let yourself be carried away by Mali Music, an album conceived and produced by Damon Albarn (leader of Blur and Gorillaz) and the musicians he befriended during his stay in Mali in July 2000. Let them take you along on their adventures, to the very places where Damon recorded over 80 hours of traditional music, accompanied at times by Damon's melodica and humming. This musical project (initiated by the Oxfam charity organization) represents the merging of two different musical landscapes. Damon edited and worked on the recordings in his London studio, enriching them with dubbing and electronic effects. The result is an eclectic album, a total of sixteen pieces marrying Malian and Western music, which takes the listener on a musical journey. A ride on the Niger River, a visit of Bamako's Institut National des Arts, and stops at the Kela and Griot Villages are all on the itinerary. You will be surprised and happy to discover how delightfully Toumani Diabaté's kora (a 21-cord harp), the njurka (a traditional violin), the balafon, the ngoni and the Griots' singing mesh with the piano, keyboards, guitars and electronic music. The 40-page booklet accompanying the CD is equally superb.
Do you wish to become acquainted to Malian music without getting bogged down by it? Opt for Mali Music then, the first release of Honest Jon's Records, a label founded by Damon Albarn and his friends from the Portobello Road record shop. Have a good trip!
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By A Customer on 30 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Now for my next trick" Damon Albarn turns an Oxfam-sponsored visit to Mali into an electronic, bongo, steel drum and singing festival, unhampered and honest from the helping hands of Toumani Diabate and Afel Bocum. It could so easily have been turned into an anthemicly patronising piece of cultural tourism but instead remains just as much made by Mali musicians as it does Damon Alburn. With only a melodica Albarn proves he is one of the greatest working artists in Britain. The album has been in the works for over 2 years and speaks for itself, largely defecating over the sludgy and superficially dull moments from his Gorillaz album. Whilst certain press blindly continue to fill pages with self-advertisements, aimless lists and promotional give-aways, albums like these slip past relatively unnoticed leaving tender songs such as 'Sunset coming on' and 'Les escrocs' to graciously leave us feeling warm, kind and ready to use certain press for toilet paper.
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Format: Audio CD
There are many attempts at world crossover music that fail but luckily this is one of those rare records that works on all counts. The mix is perfect & complements each with respect & real love of what good music is all about. It is the soul of africa presented in a beautiful way. Tracks like "spoons" and "the Djembe" are just songs that move you deep in your heart. Whilst "les escrocs" will just transport you to all that is missing in your life. World music at it's very very best. If you like "world" music this should be in your top 10, though I find it hard to fit it into the catagory of "world music"...what is that?
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Format: Audio CD
Albarn's Mali Music project is an overlooked album of beautiful mood and texture that barely belongs to the hideous 'category' of world music. This is very much a subjectivised, western account of African moods and musicianship, taken largely from muddled field recordings and mixed down in London. Mostly the range of instrumentation drifts in and out of the mix unhurried in a manner that has more in common with sample-based music and electronica than world music. Indeed it starts disappointingly with the track Spoons that seems to bare no superficial resemblance to African music at all, more like the slick trip hop of Faithless's quieter moments. But listen carefully and you will hear all manner of found sound bubbling under the surface; the nocturnal vibes pervade, evidently recorded over night-long Mali jam sessions and banter. Track titles like '4AM At Toumani's', 'Kela Village' and 'Bamako City' give testament to the approach, which seems aimed at capturing the mood of a place rather than provide a platform for specific artists. Perhaps this is not for the purists of whom Michael Nyman referred to as the 'World Music Police'.

There are moments of unbearable lovliness throughout, that evoke a sense of Albarn's heartbreaking nostalgia for his experience, especially on songs fronted by him (Sunset Coming On). Absolutely a subjectivised and romanticised account, it drifts and swells in a heady brew that uses African music and atmosphere as texture. 'Makelekele' splices together its range of instrumentation into a kind of demented African techno, while 'Le Relax' and 'The Djembe' are spectral, humid dub. Most tracks have irresistable hooks and grooves given added insistence by a variety of singers, as well as Albarn's melodica, which underpins some of the, er, melodies.
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