Single review by KevW
For those new to the genre-shunning global sounds of Amadou & Mariam, a brief bit of background. The couple were born in Mali in the 1950s and both have been blind since childhood. Taking solace in the power of music, their records take in elements of traditional Middle Eastern, African, Indian and Latin sounds, fusing them with rock, blues and pop. From the sparse early recordings their sound has grown and grown, transcending eras, styles and locations, and earning them many fans within the world of music. Latest album 'Folila' includes guest appearances from TV On The Radio, Santigold, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Theophilus London, Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters) and more.
Rarely has the term 'world music' been more apt. New single 'Wily Kataso' features Kyp and Tunde from TV On The Radio and carefully plucks components from all corners of the earth. The afro-beat rhythms are met with dubby bass and acoustic guitars courtesy of Latin America as well as electric guitars borrowed from western funk. Vocally it incorporates different languages (not being an expert the only two I can confidently identify are English and possibly French) and drawing on so many influences gives the song a rich depth. For those not well versed in anything other than the usual western pop and rock genres and wishing to discover music from further afield, Amadou & Mariam's all-encompassing approach could be the ideal starting point.
Amadou & Mariam's website
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