Mali, landlocked country, is probably best known in the West for the prodigious output of music. Here are some of our archives of music from Mali.

shine, gospel metal from bamako

For sometime I'd been on an elusive search for the West African metal musicians. It appeared that metal didn't exist the Sahel. Enter Shine. Band leader Daouda Dao is a professor at the Arts Conservatory of Bamako. It's Bamako's art school, with active theater courses, plastic arts, visual arts, and…

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gao rap

Digging at the mp3 market in Bamako, I had the vendor send me over a folder entitled GAO RAP. Containing, of course, what the title says - Rap music from the Northern Mali city of Gao. Which in itself would not be so remarkable if it wasn't for what rap…

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radio sikasso

Caught this on the radio late night in Sikasso. This is more or less a live in studio example of the "balani show" remix, performed on a sampler, with CDJs. I don't have anymore info, but it's brilliant. Radio Sikasso - Balani Remix

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Vieux Balani, live and direct

Vieux Balani - Balafon Spent a few days in the South of Mali in Sikasso -- a region stunningly different from the North. This is green Mali, with rice paddies, giant tropical trees, and red earth. Water is everywhere. People like to joke that everything is free in Sikasso. It's…

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DJ Sandji 100% Balani Show

DJ Sandji started djing years ago with cassette decks. He now uses a combination of CDJs, Virtual DJ, and a sampler. The sampler seems to always use the same kit - the one with the whistles and claps, which has evolved to be a signature element of Balani Show (Sandji…

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photo by Maciek Pozoga In June 2015, we traveled to a place that doesn't exist. The work was semi-ethnographic documentation of travel to a fictional Bamako. Over 10 days, photographer Maciek Pozoga and I meticulously documented the real and the unreal through photo and sound. The imagined capital evolved out…

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