Rare or Unreleased 2: Accidental remix!

Amadou & Mariam: «Accidental remix» EP [.zip]

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to make the odd hard- or impossible-to-find (yet still worthwhile!) recording available. Hunting for obscurities on my iTunes I came across this gem…

In 2002 I was in Varkala, India, in this café/restaurant catering to backpackers and the like, when this alien, soulful music came blaring out of a ridiculously bad sound system. The simple sincerity of the music was so elevating to someone not accustomed to subtlety that I just had to ask what this divine frequency was.

Turns out this French couple had left the place some random tape. Yes! A microcassette tape! Remember those? The guy didn't know what the album was called, but the cassette bore the handscrawled inscription «Amadou et Mariam». And helpful as he was, the waiter suggested he take the tape to a friend of his for me—a guy who worked at an Internet café and so knew a thing or two about computer technology (obviously). He transferred the tape onto CD for me—a CD-R full of tape hiss and songs stopping and starting, seemingly at random. Guitars warble and frequencies drop in and out, as if Noise and Distortion were playing along with the band…

I love it.

When I came home I did some research, finding an album by blind Malian couple Amadou & Mariam at the local record store, in that darkest corner of music shops everywhere—the dreaded world music section, where exchange students just back from a year in Cuba (now learned in those sassy ways of salsa!) or a middle-aged married woman with a secret crush on her tango instructor browse for mediocre compilations that only serve to further entrench cultural stereotypes.

Anyway, I gave Amadou & Mariam's 1999 CD Sou Ni Tile a listen—that record is actually where these songs were once from—and I must say I prefer the lo-fi grit of the tape to the cheesy world music production values on the official release, where the polish puts the intimate delivery at a remove.

So here you go; the coolest tracks off that album, «remixed» purely by chance—by Fate and Technology themselves (which, taken together, make up evolution itself, I suppose):

1. «Mon amour, mon chérie»
2. «A Radio Mogo»
3. «Baara»
4. «Pauvre type»
5. «Teree Le Sebin»
6. «Dounia»

Amadou & Mariam, of course, have gone on to world music superstardom, every critic's darling since «the elf prince of world music,» Manu Chao, produced their 2005 album Dimanche e Bamako.

By the way, Amadou & Mariam just released a CD last year, too: Welcome to Mali.

1 comment:

  1. Flashback rett i hjertet...fra noe som føles som flere tiår siden. xxxk