Amadou & Mariam
"Dimanche à Bamako", the Manu Chow produced album that I have been listening ever since after the festival till today (back in Vienna). And surprise, back in Vienna on FM4 our Austrian "alternative" radio channel it is being played with some regularity, above all their song Coulibali. No wonder they have just won the BBC Radio3 award for World Music 2006: "Every now and then, a group manages to get just about everything right".
'The fizziest afro-pop blues ever bottled' ***** The Observer, 'African
rhythms, sweet soul harmonies and '60s Memphis guitar' **** Mojo Magazine.
Effortlessly funky yet full of insanely catchy tunes. Dimanche a Bamako
has now sold close to 500,000 copies around the world and is still gaining
Once a decade, it seems, a record emerges from the dense and vibrant undergrowth of the world music scene to achieve mass popular success in the mainstream. read it all on their web-page).
The amusing paradox carried by the songs of this blind couple from Mali is that they also have the power to return sight to those who think they can already see.
We saw Baba Salah in Essakane, but his show is distinctively different in Segou. The winterly more conservative desert north of Saharan Mali must have cooled down his temper then. To Segou he brings 2 hot dancers, and a 3rd background voice and his guitar playing rocks Hedrix style.
Meilleure révélation de l'Année (Best start-up of the year 2003), Meilleur Artiste du Festival du Désert (best artist at the festival au desert), Meilleur Artiste de la Chaîne 2 (best artiat on channel 2 Malian radio 2004). Interview in French on Bamako-Culture.
It seems every musician has to bring dancers, and frankly the competition is on of who brings the hottest, sexiest, quickest ...
Now back in Vienna I frequently listen to Sekouba's music, above all his Sinikan album.
Amazing and I cannot understand why, why I would not like him that evening on stage in Segou. In fact he starts out in true star-like manner and the crowd adores him, but then is talking way to much. And I hate TV and show masters.
But maybe when you don't understand the language, maybe you don't understand at all .... (Or you should not judge).
Tiken Jah Fakoly
The biggest reggae star in West-Africa comes on stage by complete surprise. He has been in the area, has heard of the festival and then he is on stage.
rfi-musique biography of Tiken Jah Fakoly.
From Ivory Coast, strongly influenced by political developments/civil war in his country, his songs talk a lot about corruptness of/in politics and politicians. "Politiciens", "Discrimination", "Nationalité", "Le pay va mal (the land isn't going well)" and "Ils ont partagé le monde ... Ils ont partagé l'afrique ... sans nous consulter (They have partitioned the world ... and Africa without asking us...." recently on Coup de Gueule.
Thus he became famous, a speaker at protests and political meetings. The more his music was censored at home the more he shot to fame.
Nowadays with his extreme popularity, Tiken Jah Fakoly has involved himself in mediation and reconciliation in his country talking of tolerance and pardon on all sides. (lefaso in French).
Obviously when Tiken Jah Fakoly comes on stage some freak out completely/can't hold back their enthusiasm. He is a hero.