Bassekou Kouyaté is better known as the ngoni player on seminal recordings by Toumani Diabaté and Ali Farka Touré. Segu Blue is his assured, elegant and long overdue debutRead more "Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba – Segu Blue"
With all the hype surrounding Tinariwen’s third international release, long-time fans could be forgiven for expecting to hear the lost desert album of Radiohead. Thank God it’s still the boys in blue’s trademark sound insteadRead more "Tinariwen – Aman Iman : Water is Life"
Tinariwen are one of only two bands to have their own Minister of Propaganda. Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav is now better known for his MTV show where very driven young ladies battle to win his attention. In contrast, the rather more earnest Issa Dicko is concerned with the survival of the Tamasheq (Tuareg) people. Tinariwen […]Read more "Tinariwen – The Camel’s Back"
Jeremy Marre’s landmark music documentary series began 30 years ago in 1977 in Jamaica with Roots, Rock, ReggaeRead more "Beats of the Heart: Roots, Rock, Reggae – Director: Jeremy Marre, 1977 (DVD)"
A few years ago a group of hoteliers got together in the pleasant but unremarkable stopover of Segou along the banks of the Niger river to work out how to get people to stay for a while in their town. Thus the Festival sur le Niger was born and this year it burst its banksRead more "Festival sur le Niger – Dancing through the Tears"
With a fresh take on his father’s trademark sound, Vieux is almost guaranteed to attract international audiences — even if only a handful of his compatriots have heard him play. We went to the Sahara to talk to himRead more "Vieux Farka Toure – Desert Blues 2.0"
Salsa is and was a controversial term for music that escaped between the edges of definition. It wasn’t simply Puerto Rican, Cuban, commercial, from New York, black etc and yet it wasn’t possible without all of these thingsRead more "Beats of the Heart: Salsa – Director: Jeremy Marre, 1979 (DVD)"
Malick has had three books of his photos published, exhibitions across Europe and the States and is regularly cited as one of Africa’s most important photographers. I dropped in on his Bamako studio to find a gentle man fighting the good fight against the airborne red earth of Africa and dodgy chemicalsRead more "Malick Sidibe – Dusty Town Portraiture"