Amadou & Mariam/Welcome To Mali 2LP + CD
Direct-To-Metal Mastering at Abbey Road, London!
Plated and Pressed at Pallas, Germany!
Includes CD of Complete Album!
Welcome to Mali, the second Nonesuch effort from Malian duo Amadou & Mariam has garnered rapturous reviews from critics in Europe, where it was released in late 2008. The album appeared on many year-end best-of lists; London’s Sunday Mirror declared, “African pop doesn’t get more effervescent and joyful than the sound of this blind couple dueling together and sending their message of love around the globe. Simply wonderful.”
American audiences were introduced to the married pair, who met at a Malian school for the blind, with its Nonesuch debut Dimanche à Bamako, produced by the Paris-based world-music provocateur Manu Chao. With Chao behind the wheel, the album was like an exhilaratingly bumpy taxi ride straight into the heart of the Malian capital; cacophonous sounds of the streets mixed in with the spare, propulsive rhythms of the songs, making it all sound thrillingly immediate. Amadou & Mariam, already into the second decade of their overseas career, attracted an impressively wide-ranging state side audience, from world music stalwarts to club goers to indie rockers. They have toured as both headliners and West Coast support for Coldplay.
Welcome to Mali – recorded in Bamako, Dakar, Paris and London and produced with longtime manager Marc-Antoine Moreau – is less high-concept travelogue than straightforward set, yet it proves to be even more adventurous and exuberantly rocking. Albarn briefly joins the pair, co-producing and co-writing opening track “Sabali,” as ingeniously arranged as the best of his work with the Gorillaz and featuring Mariam’s almost otherworldly vocals over swirls of disco-style keyboards. Amadou has long spoken of his affection for classic rock – Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, the Beatles, the Stones – and it shows in his playing; London’s Independent calls Welcome to Mali “a rock album with an African Heart.” There’s a bit of Yardbirds-era swinging London, keyboard arrangements that wouldn’t be out of place in a Parisian disco, hip hop breaks from Toronto-based Somalian rapper K’naan and the occasional garage-rock riff, as well as traditional touches courtesy of fellow Malian Toumani Diabaté and his magical kora playing. A deep undercurrent of the blues, an arguably indigenous Malian sound that migrated to the Mississippi delta, runs through the disc. Says Uncut, “Amadou’s slithering, grinding guitar riffs sound dark and spiky, the missing link between Ali Farka Touré and Steve Cropper.”
Welcome to Mali is an invitation from this extraordinary pair to look for the familiar in the seemingly exotic. As Pitchfork Media put it, “This album is an affirmation of global connectivity and an emerging global culture that transcends and repurposes tradition as it sees fit – the sound of Mali merging with the world at large.”
“Welcome to Mali will be appreciated by an audience of millions: not as ‘world music,’ but as the product of an authentically global pop phenomenon.”- Observer Music Monthly
• Double LP
• Direct-to-Metal Mastering
• Mastered at Abbey Road Studios, London, England
• Plated and Pressed at Pallas, Diepholz, Germany
• Bonus CD of entire album
• Stoughton wrapped Gatefold Jacket
2. Ce N'est Pas Bon
6. Je Te Kiffe (feat. Juan Rozoff)
7. Masiteladi (feam. M)
8. Africa (feat. Knaan)
1. Compagnon de la Vie
2. Unissons Nous (feat. Keziah Jones)
4. I Follow You (Nia Na Fin)
5. Welcome to Mali