Amadou & Mariam - Masiteladi

Richard Wink 09/07/2009

Rating: 4/5

I didn't know too much about Mali until Frédéric Kanouté pledged his allegiance to the country, the moody (then) Frenchman through a strop and went AWOL in order to play for his adopted country in the African Cup of Nations to the cost of my beloved Tottenham Hotspur. Through the need to satisfy my strange curiosity I ended up learning about Mali, its geography, its culture and stumbled across the likes of Tinariwen and Amadou & Mariam.

The first Amadou & Mariam record I heard was 2005's Dimanche à Bamako and what immediately struck me was that this wasn't music that fitted into the convenient genre classification of world music. No, this was a solid, accessible album full of catchy tunes. Last year's Welcome to Mali proved to be an even stronger album, 'Masiteladi' is the latest single from that album.

Cynics might argue if it wasn't for Damon Albarn or Manu Chao then Amadou & Mariam would be limited to a whirlwind appearance on Jools Holland at best. However 'Masiteladi' proves with Amadou's spiraling surfy guitar solo and a slick bluegrass groove that they can write a good old fashioned popular smash. The two remixes bring Mali to the dance floor.

Release date: 29/06/2009