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Amadou & Mariam - Dimanche à Bamako - 2004

Mali has always been an intercultural meeting place between Arabs and Berbers from the north and people from South West Africa. That is why it has a rich and varied cultural life. His musical site is impressive: Salif Keita, Ali Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté, Oumou Sangaré, Ballaké Sissoko, Tinariwen, Bako Dagnon ... are part of his cast of living legends. And, for some years, Amadou & Mariam. Dimanche à Bamako (2004), a record produced by Manu Chao, marked his rise to international fame. By then they had been singing together and reaping success in West Africa for thirty years with their hypnotic and bright blues, the "afro-blues."

Mariam Doumbia and Amadou Bagayoko were born in Bamako, capital of the country. Both lost their sight in childhood, and turned to music from their earliest age and it was music that joined them, in 1975, at the Institute for the Blind Young of Bamako in 1975. Since then they have never separated, nor when they emigrated to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), nor when they left for France, nor when international fame and recognition came.

Between 1974 and 1980, Amadou was part of the Les Ambassadeurs du Hotel group. Mixing African, Cuban, Indian, jazz, reggae, blues and pop influences, Amadou & Mariam made their way into the gigantic panorama of African artists. During the 90s they live a first season in Paris. They record a first album, Sou Ni Tilé, whose single "Je Pense A Toi" sells more than 100,000 copies in 1998 in the neighboring country. Follow a second album and a series of tours in Europe and the USA. In 2003, Manu Chao, already separated from Mano Negra, falls in love with his music and collaborates with them in the composition of a new album, Dimanche à Bamako, which comes out in 2004. The album, a small jewel of Malian music for western ears , receives many awards, in the United Kingdom and France among others, where more than 300,000 copies are sold.

The album opens at a rhythm with "M´Bifé", one of the six songs that Manu Chao co-writes with the African couple. But it is not until "Coulibaly" and "La Réalité" when Dimanche à Bamako takes flight with a mixture of African rhythms with the most modern electric instruments (guitar, keyboards, programming) and traditional (djembé, flute and percussion).

Registered between September 2003 and April 2004 in recording studios in Bamako and Paris, in addition to some sessions in a Mopti camp hotel, the fifteen songs of Dimanche à Bamako marked a quality leap in the contagious sound of Amadou & Mariam, which to date had published three large albums, Sou Ni Tilé (1998), Tjé Ni Mousso (1999) and Wati (2002), as well as several cassettes for the African regional market.

The reception of the album was unbeatable: he achieved the top positions of the European music charts of the world, and people, in addition to the renewed African sound of the Mali couple, continue to discover in "Sénégal Fast Food" one of the best songs that Manu Chao He composed in French from Mano Negra. A beautiful disk. A story to repeat.

Tracks list:
01. M´Bifé
02. M´Bifé Balafon
03. Coulibaby
04. La Réalité
05. Sénégal Fast Food
06. Artistiya
07. La Fête au Village
08. Camions Sauvages
09. Beaux Dimanches
10. La Paix
11. Djanfa
12. Taxi Bamako
13. Politic Amagni
14. Gnidjougouya
15. M´Bifé Blues

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