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If you tend not to pay attention to world music, you may have missed out thus far on the phenomenon that is Amadou and Mariam. However, do yourself a favor and take a little time out of your day to check them out. This couple from Mali has been making music since the ’80s, beginning with simple guitar/voice blues, and morphing into a combination of traditional Malian instrumentals and other global sounds sometimes referred to as Afro-blues. Both Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia are blind, and they met at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind early in their lives. They have made a name for themselves in the world music scene over the past few decades, establishing a uniquely palatable combination of lesser-known world music styles with Western musical qualities. Their last album, 2008’s Welcome To Mali, was well-received by critics around the world, and featured the likes of Manu Chao and K’Naan.

Amadou and Mariam now have a new album, Folila, coming out next Tuesday via Nonesuch.  This release continues their time-honored tradition of coupling traditional world instruments with more Western influences, and this particular album takes that concept a step further by incorporating well-known artists from the indie music world, as if to beckon in those with an aversion to the concept of world music. On Folila,we hear appearances from Santigold, Theophilus London, TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Nick Zinner, and Scissor Sisters‘ Jake Shears. Originally, this album was intended to be two separate releases; one recorded in New York with these well-known guest artists, and another recorded in Bamako, Mali with contributions from traditional African musicians. However, once both versions had been recorded, Amadou and Mariam decided to combine both projects into one fantastic melting pot of culture and tradition. The result is an enjoyable medley of world and Western music, accessible enough to attract indie music fans, but still sophisticated enough to please longtime Amadou and Mariam fans.

You can now stream Folila in its entirety over at NPR.

Here’s the video for the second track off the album, Wily Kataso featuring Tunde & Kyp of TV On The Radio:

Follow up to our sounds of the Astral Plane with MF DOOM and Dave Sitek. Tenth year anniversary for Lex Records means multiple collaborations with MF DOOM! For the anniversary, the label is set on releasing a compilation called Complex. DOOM is featured on two tracks, Retarded Fren and Rhymin Slang, the latter is my favorite. You may have already heard DOOMs track, Retarded Fren, with Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Jonny Greenwood. I wasn’t all to impressed by this combination of two stellar artists and it had a whole lot of potential. This is just my opinion on the track, I think DOOMs bars leave the listener asking for  more because of his slow delivery throughout the track.

I think both artists individually are phenomenal, Thom Yorkes production and sampling of Proven Lands by Jonny Greenwod is great but we dont see  the best that both of these artists can put out.

DOOM is also on another track  that was recently released, produced by Jneiro Jarel called Rhymin Slang. The song is remixed by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek to bring out a heavy hitting cut. The bass comes through hard and the British MC, DELS, is also featured.