Begin at the end, so they say, and the end for Lobi came suddenly and out of the blue. He died in June at 49. Like Habib Koite is, Lobi was a people’s musician. Friendly and down to earth, Lobi was well known to hustlers and music fans alike in clubs like the Djembe in […]Read more "Lobi Traore – Rainy Season Blues"
Late at night in Salif Keita’s studio in Bamako a cellist and a kora player recorded their jams. Vincent Segal (cellist) tells us what lay behind his collaboration with Ballaké SissokoRead more "Kora, Cello, Chamber Music – Vincent Segal"
The world’s least likely superstars are back with an album that takes the winning formula of Dimanche a Bamako to the next level. More guests, more meddling with their sound, more English and well why not, a bit of Damon AlbarnRead more "Amadou et Mariam – Welcome to Mali"
Network records have kept up the profoundly high level of quality control exhibited on the first two instalments of this exquisite seriesRead more "V/A – Desert Blues 3"
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"
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"