Funky, addictive utterly Malian and with a kick like snorting home-made chilli sauce. This is the CD you are going to get sick of copying for your mates this summerRead more "Mamani Keita – Yelema"
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"
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"
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"
Quite possibly the most difficult festival to get to on earth, certainly the most fun, The Festival in the Desert is held at Essakane every January. Head for Timbuktu and when you have reached the middle of nowhere, keep going for a few more hours of treacherous driving up and down sand dunes and you […]Read more "The Festival in the Desert 2007 – Essakane, Mali"
Iconic, essential, quite possibly still a ‘work of lunatic scholarship’, The Rough Guide to World Music is back but what kind of shape is it in all these years later?Read more "The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East – Volume 1 of 3 (Book review)"